Sioux Falls man charged in weekend triple murder – Mitchell Republic

SIOUX FALLS – A Sioux Falls man is charged with multiple counts of first-degree murder after a shooting on the southwest side of the city over the weekend left three people dead and two others injured.

Justin Rackley, 30, of Sioux Falls, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder, each of which is a Class A felony punishable by life in prison or the death penalty.

The charges stem from an incident at approximately 2:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 8, when Sioux Falls police were called to a residence near the intersection of West 58th Street and Drexel Drive for a report of a disturbance.

Lt. Aaron Nyberg of the Sioux Falls Police Department said about a dozen people were gathered around a campfire when Rackley shot as many as five people.

Nyberg said officers found 43-year-old Daniel Kemnitz, 43-year-old Kelly Reeves and 34-year-old Michael Thompson dead from apparent gunshot wounds. Two other survivors were taken to a Sioux Falls hospital.

Authorities say it is unclear what led to the shooting. Rackley and the others were “new acquaintances,” they say. Drugs were probably not involved, Nyberg said, but alcohol was consumed at the party.

As part of the ongoing investigation, investigators are reviewing video footage from the area.

“Our condolences go out to the families who have lost loved ones, and of course the loss of a human life is senseless,” said Sioux Falls Police Chief Jon Thum. “We are confident in our ability to fully investigate this case and are working with our partners and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office to ensure we put together a comprehensive picture.”

Rackley is currently being held without bail in the Minnehaha County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court in Lincoln County on Monday afternoon.

Rackley already has one previous conviction for simple assault, dating back to an incident in August 2020.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Rackley faces at least life in prison, but prosecutors could also seek the death penalty.

The victims of Saturday's triple homicide are the latest in a series of deadly shootings in southeastern South Dakota.

On Memorial Day, police officers in Turner County responded to a call about a shooting in Centerville and found three people shot to death inside a home on Main Street. After hearing an allegation that his wife may have been sexually assaulted, former deputy Jay Ostrem is accused in court documents of crossing the street and killing 21-year-old Zach Frankus, 26-year-old Paul Frankus and 35-year-old Timothy Richmond.

A few days later, on June 4, Tea police confirmed that a person had been shot on the city's north side. Tea police said their investigation into the fatal shooting led to the arrest of Timothy Overton on multiple counts of domestic violence related to an incident on May 1.

Law enforcement did not say whether Overton is also a suspect in the murder case. No charges have been filed against him in connection with the fatal shooting.

The last time Sioux Falls police investigated a homicide involving three or more victims was in 1973, Nyberg said, when authorities found a family of four dead in their home in what appeared to be a murder-suicide.

A South Dakota native, Hunter joined Forum Communications in June 2021 as a reporter for the Mitchell (SD) Republic and now works as a digital reporter for Sioux Falls Live, focusing primarily on Sioux Falls crime and Lincoln County government.

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