Memorial dedicated to Rapid City’s fallen officers

The North Rapid City community was shaken in August when a routine police check turned fatal. A gunman killed two police officers and wounded another officer before being shot himself.

The Rapid City community pulled together on that tragic day and in the months following. On Sunday, community members did the same to forever memorialize the sacrifice of those first responders.

Police cars block the same streets that were closed off on August 2nd.  This time it was not to respond to a crime but to remember two local heroes.

“It’s a beautiful day today, much like the beautiful day in August that suddenly turned dark when this happened and it seems very surreal to this day that this happened in our community,” said Rapid City Mayor Sam Kookier.

Three months following the tragedy men and women in blue along with community members gather at the shooting site in front of New Beginnings Baptist Church for the dedication of the Fallen Officers Memorial. The $10,000 granite memorial to Officers Ryan McCandless and Nick Armstrong stands four feet high and is shaped like an officer’s badge.

Community members say the memorial is a beautiful place to reflect on the good and the bad.

“This will be a place for people to come to remember the sacrifice and the service of our men and women in blue and our community,” said Dale Bartscher, who attended the dedication ceremony.  

Although beautiful some church members say the memorial does not represent all the lives lost in the North Rapid shooting by leaving off gunman Daniel Tiger.

“It’s a beautiful memorial, it’s great to recognize our heroes but I still feel there needs to be a little something for the other man being that it is on church property and we need to treat everybody equally,” Tad Darling said. He’s a member of New Beginnings Baptist Church.

While some may disagree with who should be memorialized no one will contest the importance of the memorial.  

“This memorial is an opportunity for the neighborhood and our community to never forget what happened on this corner,” Mayor Kookier said.

Family members of the fallen officers along with Officer Tim Doyle who was wounded in the shooting were at Sunday’s dedication.

A garden will surround this memorial by next spring.

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