Sioux Falls Police Report Says Shooting in Tuthill Park Was by the Book
In the public interest, the Sioux Falls Police Department submitted a report on Friday, January 16, 2015 providing an explanation of the officer-involved shooting that occurred on New Year’s Day.
The following has not been altered in any manner so that the police report can stand on its own merit. In summary, the officer who fired his weapon did so within the guidelines of proper police procedure and the individual who encountered the officer is still at large. The link below is the original story filed after the event occurred.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota: The Sioux Falls Police Department Professional Standards Unit has released the results of its investigation into the shooting at Tuthill Park on January 1, 2015. Based on the investigation, crime scene evidence, and statements made by the officer, the officer’s actions were found to be within policy.
On January 1, 2015, around 10:35 p.m., Officer Anthony Davis (27 years old, two-year veteran) was patrolling Tuthill Park, which closes at 10 p.m. Officer Davis saw several vehicles parked in the lower parking lot and several people in the park after hours. Officer Davis told the people they would have to leave since the park was closed.
Officer Davis then drove to the upper part of Tuthill Park and checked that area, including the sledding hill. He parked his car facing south, away from the main drive, and was parked for about 10 minutes when he saw some movement in his passenger-side mirror. Moments later, he saw a person appear in his drivers-side mirror.
Officer Davis used his police radio to tell Metro Communications he would be out of his car with a person in upper Tuthill Park. He then turned on the in-car video camera and body microphone and began to walk toward the person. The person stopped and exhibited a bladed stance when Officer Davis began speaking to him. Officer Davis tried to talk to the person several times but received no response.
The person had his right hand down by his side and began to move his left hand into his coat pocket. Officer Davis told the person to show his hands. The person then pointed a black handgun at the officer with his right hand.
Officer Davis moved out of the way of the gun pointed at him, drew his handgun, and fired at the person. The crime scene investigation found that Officer Davis was approximately 30 feet away from his target when he fired eight rounds from his handgun. The shots were fired while moving, in a low-light environment, and on a snow-packed and uneven surface. The person then ran toward the sledding hill and into the trees out of the officer’s sight. Other officers attempted to set a perimeter around the park but were unable to locate the person.
Based on the investigation, crime scene evidence, and statements made by the officer, the following conclusions were made:
- Officer Davis faced an imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death when the suspect pointed a black handgun directly at him.
- Any other use-of-force option was either immediately exhausted or impractical when the suspect displayed his weapon.
- Officer Davis’ actions were found to be within policy.
Each incident in which an officer uses force is investigated internally by the Sioux Falls Police Department. A criminal investigation for this incident also is underway because a person pointed a weapon at an officer. The criminal investigation remains ongoing since a suspect has not yet been found.
The suspect is a white man, or a person with lighter complexion, 5’6”-5’8” tall, wearing a black or dark blue winter coat, dark colored pants, and a black stocking cap. If anyone has information, call police at 367-7212, or Crime Stoppers at 367-7007.