Nearly one month after a high speed chase put a state trooper in the hospital, the incident has been cleared by the South Dakota Attorney General.
The report released Tuesday shows that State Trooper Andrew Steen and Lincoln County Deputies Aaron Bartscher and Tom Krull were justified in firing their weapons and using lethal force on the October 17th pursuit of suspect Rachel Coleman.
The report shows the pursuit reached speeds of 80 to 90 miles per hour in the city limits of Sioux Falls. The report also noted that Coleman's car struck Trooper Steen, forcing him onto the hood of the car as she continued to drive.
Together the three officers fired a total of 23 rounds, hitting Coleman at least three times. Coleman spent several days in the hospital, but is now in custody at Minnehaha County Jail.
The crime scene investigation conducted by the South Dakota division of criminal investigations is consistent with statements made by officers at the scene.
Coleman is charged with Attempted First Degree Murder, Aggravated Assault against a Law Enforcement Officer, hit and Run Accident Resulting in Death or Injury and Aggravated Eluding in Lincoln County. It was also Coleman's Fourth DWI incident.
Trooper Steen suffered life threatening injuries during the incident; he is still recovering.
Steen's friends and family said they have never doubted his actions on that night, but are relieved to hear the incident is officially justified.
"It's huge I mean, it's a huge relief knowing that everything has been justified, everything that Andrew did everything that the other officers involved did was justified, it's just a huge release," said Steen's close friend Holly Stauffacher.
The details of the report, including the details of the chase and the number of shots fired showed Steen's friends and family just how serious the incident was.
"It means they were fighting for their lives and they were doing what they needed to do to stop somebody who was trying to hurt them; its unfortunate that it took that, but they were right and they were doing what they needed to do to protect all of us and themselves," said Stauffacher.
Josh Frank works in the bridges complex and saw the aftermath of the shooting and the work investigators put into the crime scene.
"It was pretty crazy, I've never seen anything like it," said Josh Frank.
Frank appreciates the officers protecting the city and his office and hopes Steen's family is proud of the work Steen did for the Sioux Falls community.
"I guarantee you they are proud of him and what he did, it's just kind of a bad deal you know what happened to him and all that, but I know they're going to be proud of him for what he did he was doing his job," said Frank.
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:48 PM EST2013-12-04 03:48:06 GMT
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center. The city required 60% of voters to approve the bond to pass; only 50.9 voted yes. Canton financial officer Kyle Cwach said 412 votedMore >>
Canton residents have voted down a proposal to build a new aquatic center.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 10:16 PM EST2013-12-10 03:16:01 GMT
The annual tradition of laying wreaths at every grave in Arlington National Cemetery may come up short this year. The group behind the tradition, "Wreaths Across America," says it's $500,000 short ofMore >>
The annual tradition of laying wreaths at every grave in Arlington National Cemetery may come up short this year. More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 10:04 PM EST2013-12-10 03:04:48 GMT
A state representative and candidate for U.S. Senate says South Dakotans deserve answers. Republican Stace Nelson of Fulton has signed a petition calling for a special legislative session to authorizeMore >>
A state representative and candidate for U.S. Senate says South Dakotans deserve answers.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 9:25 PM EST2013-12-10 02:25:15 GMT
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - A 19-year-old college student is in critical condition after being found unconscious and suffering from hypothermia on the porch of a Duluth home. Alyssa Jo Lommel was found SaturdayMore >>
A 19-year-old college student is in critical condition after being found unconscious and suffering from hypothermia on the porch of a Duluth home. More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 9:23 PM EST2013-12-10 02:23:21 GMT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Republican Party of Iowa is barring party officials from taking compensation from political campaigns. The state GOP announced Monday that they had approved a bylaw changeMore >>
The Republican Party of Iowa is barring party officials from taking compensation from political campaigns. More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 6:45 PM EST2013-12-09 23:45:10 GMT
A lift station in Brandon is offline and homeowners face the threat of sewage backing up into their basements. Brandon Public Works says homes East of Splitrock Boulevard and between Redwood BoulevardMore >>
A lift station in Brandon is offline and homeowners face the threat of sewage backing up into their basements if they don't limit their water use. Unfortunately, it could be sometime before they can turn the water back on.
Monday, December 9 2013 6:06 PM EST2013-12-09 23:06:21 GMT
Today it's easy to share and enjoy the digital pictures and videos we take. But what about your pictures filed away in photo albums or the home movies sitting in a box? In this week's Angie's List report,More >>
Go to a professional to put all those old reels of film and photos on a DVD.More >>
Monday, December 9 2013 5:49 PM EST2013-12-09 22:49:27 GMT
A warrant service to a Sioux Falls home last week resulted in six drug arrests, Sioux Falls police said. The Sioux Falls Area Drug Task Force served a warrant to 1003 N. Van Epps Ave. on Dec. 2. The warrantMore >>
A warrant service to a Sioux Falls home last week resulted in six drug arrests, Sioux Falls police said.More >>