MHS grad killed by Sioux Falls Police

MARSHALL – Marshall High School Superintendent Klint Willert said the death Monday of former MHS student Jacob Daniel “JD” Westberg is sad and shocking and impacts the school district even though he is four years removed from walking the halls of the high school.

Westberg was shot and killed by Sioux Falls, S.D., Police on Monday night after a 911 call was made to report a suicidal man.

“It’s a loss that’s felt by our whole school district,” Willert said. “We provided an opportunity for any of our students to visit with counselors, because there is some familiarity. We certainly feel the loss here.”

Westberg, 22, graduated from Marshall High School in 2009. He reportedly moved to Sioux Falls about three years ago.

Willert said a loss like this impacts current and former students, families and the entire community.

“It’s very shocking news,” he said. “Our deepest condolences go out to the family. It’s so sad.”

According to reports, officers surrounded Westberg’s mobile home upon learning that a man who had made suicidal threats at the address had fired a gun. S.W.A.T. officers and a negotiator arrived about 6 p.m., but Westberg was shot when he emerged from the home and pointed a rifle at officers, said Police Chief Doug Barthel.

No details were available about the negotiator’s interactions with Westberg.

Authorities in Sioux Falls said Westberg’s actions left the officer who fired on him with little choice. Barthel said the officer had responded appropriately.

The Attorney General’s office will review the shooting and issue a report on whether the use of force was justified.

Westberg, who was single, leaves behind an infant daughter, Avary. The mother of the child lives in Omaha, Neb.

Westberg’s aunt, Linda Curry of Marshall, called Westberg a “sweetheart.”

“He has always been a good kid,” she said. “He loved his daughter intensely. I just took their pictures last weekend. They’re still in my camera.”

Curry said Westberg suffered from depression.

“He was an awesome wrestler in high school,” said Curry. “And he was always good with my kids.”