Image: Rapid City Firefighter/Paramedics and Rapid City Police Department personnel respond to shootings at the intersection of Anamosa and Greenbriar streets, in Rapid City, S.D.
Ryan Soderlin  /  Rapid City Journal via AP
Firefighter/Paramedics and Rapid City Police Department personnel respond to shootings at the intersection of Anamosa and Greenbriar streets, in Rapid City, S.D. on Tuesday.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 8/3/2011 6:01:16 PM ET 2011-08-03T22:01:16

A "routine stop" on a city street turned into a deadly shootout that left a Rapid City police officer and the suspect dead and two other officers wounded, authorities said.

The suspect, Daniel Tiger, 22, of Rapid City, died early Wednesday afternoon, Rapid City Police Chief Steven Allender said.

Officer James Ryan McCandless, 28, was killed in Tuesday's shootout and Officer Nick Armstrong, 27, was in critical condition Wednesday after undergoing surgery, Allender said during a news conference. Officer Tim Doyle, 39, who was shot in the side of the face, was in fair condition.

Gunfire erupted about 10 minutes after the three officers approached four people at an intersection in the city.  Allender said the officers had received complaints about the group and determined a minor alcohol violation had been committed.

One man pulled a gun and fired several shots, Allender said. At least one officer returned fire and hit the suspect, he said.

"From my view, those three officers are heroes," Allender told The Associated Press. "They were attacked by a guy spraying bullets in their direction. They reacted heroically. They returned fire."

'Routine stop'
Hours after the shooting on Tuesday night, the police chief said there was nothing unusual about the stop until  the suspect pulled a gun.

"This was not a bank robbery. It was not a high-risk endeavor. It was a routine stop in its appearance," Allender said.

The police had been wearing protective vests that couldn't protect them fully, Allender said, according to the Rapid City Journal.

"Unfortunately, they only cover the upper torso, so they're not foolproof," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

"This is family," the chief also said. He paused to compose himself, then added: "We've got to pick up the pieces from this, no matter how hard it hurts. We have to show up at work tomorrow and do the same job these guys did today."

"These officers are heroes," Allender said. "I'd ask you and the rest of the community to honor them."

McCandless was the first Rapid City officer killed in the line of duty since 1985. The city, on the eastern border of Black Hills National Forest, is home to about 63,000 people.

McCandless had recently told his boss that he wanted to be police chief when Allender retired. "He was very bright, very capable, and probably could have made that happen," Allender said.

"He was recently engaged to be married, recently bought a new house, a farm with horses ... and recently remarked to me that he couldn't stop adopting goats," Allender said. "He was looking forward to being on that farm for years to come."

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation is handling the case.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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