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Attorney General Jackley, DCI Rule Highway Patrol Trooper Shooting Justified

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that a South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) review indicates that a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper was justified in shooting a man who charged at the trooper during an incident October 11, 2023, in Dell Rapids.

“The suspect was suicidal and presented a clear and present danger by charging at the trooper,” said Attorney General Jackley. “The trooper fired his weapon only after the suspect disobeyed the trooper’s verbal orders.”

The incident began when the trooper attempted to make a traffic enforcement stop on a 2012 Ford Fusion that was traveling at a high rate of speed on Interstate 229 in Minnehaha County. Rotislav Bershad, 24, who was later identified as the driver, refused to stop, and the trooper began a vehicle pursuit.

Bershad’s vehicle continued north on I-229 and then later on county roads. The pursuit lasted more than 12 minutes. Tire deflating spike strips were used to bring the vehicle to a halt in front of a local business at 220 Highway 115 North  in Dell Rapids.

Once the vehicle stopped, Bershad left the vehicle and ran directly at the trooper’s vehicle. Bershad refused the trooper’s verbal commands to stop, and the trooper fired two shots, striking the suspect once in the midsection.

Medical care was provided to Bershad who was transported via ambulance to a Sioux Falls hospital with serious injuries. No one else was injured.

Bershad, who is an Israeli citizen living in the United States, was found to have a pocketknife in his possession. The vehicle also later found to have been stolen from Sioux Falls.

The trooper tested negative for alcohol and drugs. Bershad’s blood alcohol level was .087, and no other drugs were detected.

DCI processed the crime scene, collected and analyzed evidence, reviewed forensic examinations, interviewed both the trooper and suspect, gathered witness statements, and viewed all available video.

The Attorney General and the Division of Criminal Investigation would like to thank the South Dakota Forensic Laboratory, the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, and the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney’s Office for their assistance. The South Dakota Highway Patrol cooperated with the investigation.

Criminal charges are being handled by the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The summary of the incident can be found here.

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