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Ostrem is shooter in 2 law enforcement incidents

todayMay 30, 2024 5

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Most law enforcement officers never fire their service weapon while on the job, but Jay E. Ostrem used his weapon at least twice in his roughly 28-year career and two people died in those incidents.

Data from a 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center shows that about 27% of law officers had ever fired their weapon while on the job. In an analysis of officer-involved shootings at 47 departments, the National Police Foundation found that four of five officers who fired in those incidents had never discharged their guns before.

Ostrem, who is charged with triple homicide in the Monday shooting deaths of three people in Centerville, was involved in shooting incidents in 1994 and 2001 while an officer with the Gillette, Wyoming, police department. Ostrem started with Gillette in July of 1982 and retired as a sergeant in December 2003, said Jennifer Toscana, the city’s director of public affairs.

Ostrem in court: $1 million cash-only bond

Investigations by the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) ruled that Ostrem acted appropriately in both incidents. The county attorney declined to seek any disciplinary action in each incident, according to the Gillette News Record news story in 1994 and the DCI report from 2001.

The Gillette News Record newspaper reported that Ostrem shot and killed a suicidal man on September 27, 1994. The man had shot himself while in a house and then, went into the backyard with his gun. The man ignored commands to drop his gun and raised it and pointed it at a second police officer who was with Ostrem, according to the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation report cited in the news story. The man was killed with a single rifle shot from Ostrem.

In 2001, Ostrem was one of at least two officers who shot and killed a suspect in an incident in Gillette, according to the DCI report. The suspect had rammed a pickup into a car and was threatening police with the vehicle, the DCI report said. A police officer was injured in the incident.

Ostrem was also a deputy with the Turner County Sheriff’s Office from 2007 to 2014.

A civil lawsuit for the 2001 incident was filed against Ostrem, the city, police department and other officers but was dismissed in 2004.

Ostrem appeared in court on Wednesday on the murder charges. Bail was set at a $1 million cash-only bond. His arraignment is set for June 20.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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