Former South Dakota mayor charged in triple-murder shooting

A former South Dakota mayor has been charged in a triple-murder shooting.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said in a press release Tuesday that a 64-year-old Centerville man has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the Monday deaths.

Jay Ostrem is being held on a $1 million cash-only bond in Minnehaha County, the release said.

Jackley said law enforcement had secured the scene and there is “no further threat to the public.”

The names of the three victims have not been released since family members are still being notified, Jackley said.

Ostrem previously served as mayor from May 2009 until he resigned in November 2011. He was accused of sexual assault in a federal lawsuit. Ostrem was a former member of law enforcement, but his certification expired in 2016, Dakota News Now reported.

CBS News reported that the victims were two brothers, ages 26 and 21 and a 35-year-old man. A probable cause affidavit did not specify a connection between the third victim and the two brothers.

The incident was reported around 10 p.m. Monday.

CBS News reported that a man called police to report that his brother had been shot by “a guy from across the street.” The caller was on the phone when he said he also was shot and then he stopped talking.

The outlet reported that Ostrem was arrested with an AR-style rifle on the ground near him and a handgun in his pocket.

Dakota News Now reported that a Game, Fish and Parks Conservation Officer reported the smell of alcohol coming from Ostrem.

Authorities found the three victims in the home across the street from Ostrem’s.

They spoke with a female family member that said on May 23 she was sexually assaulted by a neighbor while Ostrem slept in the house. She told Ostrem on Monday and he left the home in a rage.

Jackley said the case is being investigated by South Dakota’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

Centerville is about 40 miles south of Sioux Falls. It has a population of 918 people, according to the 2020 Census.

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