Police are currently investigating the death of a male at 314 E. Adams Street. Originally deemed a homicide investigation, police have now reclassified it as an unattended death investigation. Police have encountered several complicating factors as they work to investigate the specific circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Shortly before 3:00 p.m., police were called to the residence for a report of an unconscious male subject. On arrival, police located the male just outside the residence with an obvious gunshot wound to the head. The individual was declared deceased on scene.
The deceased has since been identified as 20-year-old Michael Mayweather of Rapid City.
During the initial search of the scene, police were unable to locate a firearm in proximity to the victim, initially suggesting the wound was not self-inflicted. Additionally, the residence is known to police for drug activity.
During the subsequent investigation, police learned that an occupant of the residence had purposefully discarded the firearm away from the immediate shooting scene prior to the arrival of first responders. The firearm was later located in a window well, underneath a plastic window cover. The body had also been moved for medical reasons. Police also learned that an occupant of the residence had attempted to hide drugs and associated paraphernalia inside the house.
Evidence gained during an autopsy performed on Mayweather the morning of February 28th aligns with the possibility that the gunshot wound was self-inflicted. Evidence gathered from the scene and the occupants of the house will be submitted for gunshot residue testing. This testing can take several months to yield results, however the RCPD is committed to actively investigating the incident until any possibility of homicide has been ruled out.
“Every instance of unattended death in our community receives the same high degree of investigation from detectives and officers,” says RCPD Chief of Police Karl Jegeris. “As a law enforcement agency, it’s our responsibility to diligently investigate the circumstances of any unattended death. This often means treating an unattended death as a homicide investigation, until evidence gathered suggests otherwise. In this case, we feel the public nature of the shooting incident warrants a high level of transparency into the investigation. It’s very important that the community understand the often-difficult nature of the work our officers are presented with.”