RAPID CITY, S.D. – A homicide investigation is now underway after police responded to reports of multiple shots fired from a second-floor apartment at 851 E. Minnesota Street.
Shortly after 5:00 p.m. on December 29th, police were dispatched to the apartment complex to investigate the gunfire. Shortly after arrival, multiple officers advised they could hear the gunfire. Before a direction of the gunfire could be determined, at least one officer advised the gunfire was being directed at them from the second floor. It would later be determined that a RCPD patrol vehicle was struck by gunfire.
Police began to make entry into the building. Several residents were escorted to safety, while some were told to shelter in place. A team of officers climbed a stairwell to reach the second floor. The officers encountered the gunman, armed with a rifle, in the stairway. Officer Garrett Mastin (a three-year veteran of the RCPD) fired his duty weapon at the gunman, neutralizing the threat.
As soon as the immediate area was cleared, police began performing life-saving measures on the shooter. While on the second floor, police encountered another male lying prone in the hallway with apparent gunshot wounds to his body. Life-saving measures were also performed on this individual.
Both the shooter and the victim were taken to awaiting medical units. Both were declared deceased on scene. The victim has been identified as 64-year-old David Ironhorse of Rapid City. The shooter has been identified as 29-year-old Patrick Alden of Rapid City.
Police have identified a second victim in relation to the shooting incident. Two elderly residents of the apartment evacuated the building during the gunfire. A short time later, one of the residents was located unresponsive in a nearby vehicle. It is believed the individual suffered a health-related issue complicated by the urgency of evacuation. This individual has been identified as 81-year-old Thomas Trout of Rapid City.
“There’s no question in my mind that the brave actions of our officers helped save lives,” says Assistant Chief of Police Don Hedrick. “This was an active shooter situation, and the gunman’s actions made it clear that he was intent on harming others. The community should be aware that our officers stand ready to combat any threat to public safety, and that’s just what happened during this intense situation. Additionally, we’re extremely thankful for the high level of interagency support that helped mitigate the threat of this active shooter, and in the ensuing investigation. The collective sympathies of the Rapid City Police Department go out to this victims of this senseless tragedy.”
The investigation into the officer-involved shooting has been handed over to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. In accordance with standard protocol, Officer Mastin has been placed on administrative leave as the investigation into the shooting takes place. Further inquiries related to the matter will be referred to the SD Division of Criminal Investigation.