On the afternoon of August 2, a Rapid City, South Dakota police officer on a bicycle made a “routine stop” at a bus station related to an underage drinking complaint, Native Sun News reported.
He approached four individuals, and the initial conversation lasted a few minutes. Then two more officers in vehicles arrived on the scene.
At some point during the interaction, the suspect, Daniel Tiger, a 22-year-old Oglala Sioux male, pulled out his concealed weapon and fired multiple rounds at the officers. One officer managed to return fire. All three officers were shot, and the suspect was shot as well.
The four men were transported to Rapid City Regional Hospital. Officer James Ryan McCandless, age 28, died at the scene. Officer Nick Armstrong, age 27, died five days following the shooting as a result of gunshot wounds. The suspect Tiger also died of gunshot wounds on August 3.
Another officer, Tim Doyle, who took a shot in the face, is recovering from his injuries.
Tom Poor Bear, vice chairman of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, told Native Sun News that Tiger was buried in a private ceremony in Kyle, South Dakota, on Saturday, August 6. Only close friends and family attended the funeral.
The state’s Division of Criminal Investigation is currently investigating the incident to determine what led to the shooting. The last time a Rapid City officer was shot in the line of duty was in 1916, reported Native Sun News.
One woman at the scene, Rachel Runnels, rushed to help fallen officer McCandless and performed CPR, reported Native Sun News. The pregnant Runnels continued to perform CPR until the medics arrived. Runnels was on the phone with her father before and immediately following the shooting.
In an email to Native Sun News, Robert Runnels detailed his telephone conversation with his daughter. “‘They shot three cops,’ she sobbed. ‘Who?’ I asked. ‘They were Native’s dad, they were Natives.’ Then she lost it again, my heart sank as I fought back the tears,” Runnels wrote in his email.
Thousands of people, Native Sun News reported, celebrated the life of McCandless, a six-year veteran of the Rapid City Police Department, with a procession that began at Rapid City Regional Hospital and went through downtown Rapid City, ending at the Civic Center. The public funeral took place on Sunday, August 7 at the Civic Center.
The funeral for Armstrong, a two-year veteran of the RCPD, was set for Thursday, August 11.