PIERRE - The Mitchell police officer involved in a shooting that left a woman dead was justified in his actions, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says.
52-year-old Joy Ann Sherman was killed last month when police responded to a call at a Mitchell hotel. Following the incident, Jackley's office investigated Sgt. David Beintema, the officer involved in the shooting.
On Monday, Jackley released a report detailing the results of that investigation.
"“It is the conclusion of this report and the Attorney General that Sgt. David Beintema was justified in firing his weapon and using lethal force,” Jackley said.
The report states that on November 8, Sherman stole a gun from a Mitchell residence, then called a counselor at a drug and alcohol abuse facility from a
room at the Quality Inn and Suites hotel. Sherman told the counselor she had a gun, was intoxicated and was willing to hurt herself or anyone else.
According to the report, the counselor contacted Mitchell police. Officers arrived at the hotel just after 5:00 p.m.
Sgt. Beintema was one of the officers that responded to the call. The report says Beintema cleared nearby hotel rooms, and attempted to make contact with Sherman. Beintema had two phone conversations with Sherman, in which Sherman again said she had a 9mm handgun and threatened to shoot herself or others.
Around 6:30 p.m., Beintema noticed the door of the hotel room Sherman was in began to open. Sherman stuck her head out the door and looked at Beintema. Beintema ordered Sherman to show her hands, at which point Sherman began to point her gun at Beintema.
The report says Beintema then shot Sherman three times. Sherman was transported to a Sioux Falls hospital, where she eventually died from her wounds.
During the investigation, Beintema stated when he saw Sherman pointing the gun at him, he feared for his life and thought she was going to shoot him. The report states due to staging at the scene, no other officers were able to identify whether Sherman pointed a handgun at Beintema. However, another officer had also identified that Sherman had a gun in the room, and several other officers heard Beintema yell commands at Sherman.
A test taken at 7:30 p.m. revealed Sherman's blood alcohol level was at .313%. Sherman also had a long criminal history, including both felony and misdemeanor charges throughout the Midwest.
As a result of the investigation, Jackley concluded that Beintema was justified in his use of deadly force in the incident.