- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

A shooting on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation that left four people dead and one injured was the result of domestic violence, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Friday during a news conference attended by family members of the victims.

Jackley said Colter Arbach, 22, was responsible for the deaths in the Nov. 22 attack in Sisseton, located in the northeast corner of the state. Arbach shot and killed Vernon Renville Jr., 31, Candace Labelle, 29, and Angela Adams, 25. Karissa DogEagle, 22, was injured. Authorities say Arbach shot and killed himself.

“All five families involved, the community of Sisseton and South Dakota have suffered a tremendous loss,” said Jackley, who travelled to Sisseton to release results of the investigation.

Autopsies confirmed that all victims died of gunshot wounds. DogEagle suffered multiple gunshot wounds to her back.

Jackley told The Associated Press on Friday that DogEagle and Arbach were involved in an “on-again, off-again” relationship, and that DogEagle had asked him to move out of a house in Sisseton. Arbach then punched DogEagle three times, Jackley said. Later, DogEagle indicated that someone had called police and Arbach “indicated he may have to fight them off,” Jackley said.

DogEagle followed Arbach out the door and saw him shoot several of the victims.

“She turned and ran away and was shot in the back several times,” Jackley said.

Jackley said he met with about 50 family members of the victims before the news conference and talked with Arbach’s family afterward. He said he wanted to dispel rumors that the killings were related to gangs or drugs. Jackley said Arbach had a blood-alcohol content of .123, but that was not a contributing factor.

The attorney general’s report says a Sisseton police officer on routine patrol noticed a vehicle idling in a driveway with doors open and a person lying on the ground near the driver’s door. The officer discovered four unresponsive people and DogEagle, who told the officer Arbach was responsible for the shootings.

The investigation determined that two guns were used. There were 18 casings fired from a .223-caliber rifle and three expended shells from a 12-gauge shotgun. There was other ammunition found at the scene.

DogEagle said in a statement that she is healing from serious wounds, but she will require further procedures and physical therapy.


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