Rapid City, South Dakota: Officer Down

In my years of research, I have had the pleasure of interviewing police officers from around the country. I’ve also noticed that as I transformed from a California new-age liberal to—Liberty/Constitutionalist-but-not-Libertarian-by-affiliation?—my attitude towards cops has become much more positive.

The vast majority of concealed carry licensees are law-abiding citizens who just want to go home safely at the end of the day. The same is true for the vast majority of police officers. Which is why today is a sad day.

Yesterday in Rapid City, South Dakota, Officer James Ryan McCandless and two other officers– Nick Armstrong and Tim Doyle–were performing what began as a “routine” traffic stop on a car containing four people. After a few minutes, one of the occupants began shooting, killing McCandless and wounding Armstrong and Doyle.

As the call of “officer shot” screamed out over police radios, officers from many agencies rushed to secure the crime scene. The shooter was wounded and apprehended, and remains hospitalized, as do Officers Armstrong and Doyle. Armstrong remains in critical condition.

In 2009, the FBI reported Rapid City was a city of 66,170 population, with 127 full-time officers.

Our condolences go out to Rapid City PD and the officers’ families.