Sheriff Darin Johnson

Hughes County Sheriff Darin Johnson is shown here in the court house shortly after being named sheriff by the county commission in early 2019.

A 21-year-old man was shot in the chest early Monday morning at a residence in northeast Hughes County by a 19-year-old man who used a handgun and is an acquaintance, according to the investigation so far, Hughes County Sheriff Darin Johnson said in a news release.

Johnson said a 911 call came in at 5:46 a.m., Monday, Dec. 14, made by a 19-year-old woman who witnessed the shooting.

By the time law enforcement officers got to the scene, the shooter had left in a vehicle.

The victim was taken by ambulance to Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre then airlifted to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls “with serious injuries,” according to Johnson.

“At 7:58 a.m., the shooter was located walking on foot after he crashed his vehicle about 1.5 miles from the scene,” Johnson said in his news release. “He was taken into custody and transported to Avera St. Mary’s for apparent minor injuries resulting from the crash. He was discharged from the hospital around noon and transported to the Hughes County Jail with various charges pending.”

“There is no current danger to the public,” according to Johnson. “The investigation is active and ongoing including interviews, search warrants and evidence collection to determine the exact circumstances surrounding the shooting.”

Johnson said he would not release the name of the suspected shooter on Monday because of the ongoing investigation but told the Capital Journal he plans to release names on Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation, Pierre police, the Sully County Sheriff’s Office, the state Highway Patrol and the South Dakota Drug Task Force.

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