Jackley: Shooting of man in Sturgis was justifiable use of force

September 11, 2023

PIERRE, S.D.–South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) review indicates a South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper was justified in shooting a man who fired a gun at the officer during an incident on Aug. 9 in Sturgis. The suspect sustained serious non-life threatening injuries.

The incident began on Aug. 9 when a South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper, driving east on Dickson Drive in Sturgis, identified Wyatt Fluty walking southbound on Junction Avenue. Fluty was an alleged suspect in a stolen vehicle case that occurred July 27 in Wyoming and an armed robbery that was reported Aug. 7 in Pennington County. On Aug. 8. Fluty had fled from a vehicle stop conducted by the Highway Patrol that had occurred in rural Meade County.

After identifying Fluty, the Trooper got out of their vehicle, drew their firearm and verbally engaged Fluty. The suspect fled and ran into a ditch. The trooper pursued the suspect and unsuccessful deployed their taser. Fluty produced a handgun from his waistband and fired at the Trooper who fell to the ground to avoid being shot. Fluty also fired at the Trooper while they were on the ground.

Fluty ran to the Trooper’s unsecured patrol vehicle and gained access through the driver’s side door. An out-of-state Off-Duty Deputy, who witnessed the shooting from a nearby convenience store, ran to the Trooper’s assistance. The Trooper and Off-Duty Deputy fired several rounds into the vehicle, striking Fluty.

The two officers stopped firing when Fluty surrendered his weapon. Life-saving measures were started on Fluty, and he was transported to the Sturgis hospital.

Test results indicated methamphetamine was found in Fluty’s system.