SIOUX FALLS, SD – Police shot and killed a Sioux Falls man after he came out of a house and pointed a gun at officers Monday evening. Police were called to the scene because the man was suicidal and there were reports of gunshots in the house.
Family members of Jacob Westberg call the shooting unjustified and they want answers.
The family of Jacob Westberg, who friends call JD, says he was having problems with his ex-girlfriend and their young daughter. But they feel Sioux Falls police messed up.
“This was uncalled for, uncalled for,” Jacob’s mother Wendy Westberg said. “His ex-girlfriend kept him calm most of the day until she kept calling him and they finally told her to stop calling him.”
“He told these guys he didn’t want to hurt anybody; that he needed somebody to talk to,” Jacob’s father Gary Westberg said.
That somebody, they insist, could have been JD’s brother, Matt, who arrived on the scene shortly after police.
“I tried talking to him and tried telling officers that, ‘I can get him and calm him down. And let me go talk to him,’ and they just pushed me aside. They didn’t give me a chance,” Matt Westberg said.
“For them to go in there guns drawn was absolutely unnecessary,” Gary said. “What needed to be done was to back off. Give him a little space. Everybody relax a little bit and to readjust; assess the situation. They did not do that.”
On 10-14-13 at approximately 5:03 PM, SFPD Dispatch or Metro received a 911 call from Jacob
Westberg’s mother. She advised Metro that her son, Jacob Daniel Westberg, was threatening
suicide with a gun. Jacob was reported to be alone at his home in Sioux Falls. She obtained this
information from Jacob’s ex-girlfriend. The ex-girlfriend had been in contact with Jacob on
10/14/13 and relayed the information to his mother. Mom then informed Metro dispatch that
Jacob had a weapon and the potential to become violent. Officers from the Sioux Falls Police
Department were subsequently dispatched to Jacob’s home at approximately 5:06 PM on 10-
The initial responding officers along with members of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office,
who responded to assist began to arrive on scene at approximately 5:11 PM. Some of the
responding patrol officers were also members of the SFPD SWAT team and the Minnehaha
County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team. This included SFPD Officer Andrew Siebenborn along with
Minnehaha County SO Deputy Sergeant Preston Evans who is a member of the Crisis
Jacob’s mother had also received a text message on her cell phone from Jacob along with other
family members. The complete text message was unclear but appeared to be some type of
goodbye letter. Jacob was reported to be upset as his ex-girlfriend had no longer wanted to be
in a relationship with him. She also took care of their young daughter. Jacob’s mother further
advised Metro dispatch of at least three weapons in the home that she was aware of. As more
information became available, multiple officers continued to be dispatched to the scene along
with deputies from the Minnehaha County SO.
At approximately 5:15 PM, Jacob’s mother received information from the ex-girlfriend that Jacob
had placed a gun in his mouth and also told Jacob’s mother that he said goodbye to her. At this
point he then disconnected their phone conversation. Officers began safety and evacuation
At approximately 5:45 PM, officers on scene heard what sounded like a gunshot come from
inside Jacob’s home. At that time, Jacob opened the door to his trailer. A long gun was visible at
his side. He then went back into the trailer and shut the door. Officers determined Jacob’s
demeanor was beginning to escalate after the display of a weapon and a fired round.
Jacob’s brother came to the scene in an attempt to speak with Jacob to de-escalate the
developing situation. For obvious safety reasons and the potential danger, officers did not allow
him to approach Jacob’s trailer. Officers continued attempts to make contact with Jacob by
speaking to him when he came outside and by contacting him on his cell phone. Jacob’s brother provided officers with information that Jacob was in possession of multiple AR style rifles and other weapons.
At approximately 5:48 PM, the Sioux Falls PD SWAT team was called out. This included the
deployment of an armored vehicle known as a Bear Cat.
At approximately 5:56 PM, Jacob opened the door to his trailer and stood in the doorway where
negotiations were being conducted by Deputy Sergeant Evans. Present with Sgt. Evans was
Officer Andrew Siebenborn and Officer Patrick Mertes. Jacob requested to speak with his
brother when he came outside again and was cursing and yelling at officers. Sgt. Evans
continued to negotiate with Jacob before he went back into his house. Sgt. Evans was heard
asking Jacob to come outside without his weapon to talk with officers. The Minnehaha County
Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team was then called to the scene to assist.
Deputy Sgt. Evans first called Jacob on his cell phone at approximately 5:58PM. He noted that
Jacob sounded intoxicated and very distraught. Jacob was requesting that Sgt. Evan’s come
into his trailer to talk. Sgt. Evans explained he could not do that. Throughout the conversation
Jacob was told that he would be okay. Jacob voiced his concern about an outstanding
misdemeanor warrant for his arrest. Sgt. Evan’s was interrupted twice during his negotiations
with Jacob when his ex-girlfriend called Jacob. Metro dispatch contacted her and requested her
to stop calling.
At 6:06 PM Sgt. Evans called Jacob again and had a conversation with him. Jacob stated that
he was afraid he was going to be hurt by officers. Jacob was assured that there was no reason
to hurt him. Sgt. Evans was again disconnected. Several phone calls were made back to Jacob
with no answer. There were a total of 20 phone calls, two of which contact with Jacob was
made. Several conversations did occur while Jacob was visible standing inside of his trailer with
the door open.
Jacob once again invited Sgt. Evans into his trailer. Jacob promised that no one would get hurt
but the invitation was refused. Sgt. Evans told Jacob that he wanted a peaceful resolution.
At approximately 6:46 PM, Jacob came to the door wielding a long gun in his hand. Officers
took cover behind trailer homes and vehicles in the event that Jacob would open fire on them.
At that time, Officer Siebenborn requested the Bear Cat move up to their location which was
northeast of Jacob’s residence. The Bear Cat could then provide cover for officers and protect a
nearby trailer home that was occupied by a family, including children from possible gun fire.
At approximately 6:51 PM, Jacob again opened the door to his trailer and was holding a long
gun that was later found to be a shot gun in his hands. Jacob then leveled the shotgun and
pointed it at Officer Siebenborn. Officer Siebenborn fired two (2) rounds from his SWAT issued
M4 rifle in quick succession. Jacob fell to the ground after the shots were fired.
Officers were then able to use the Bear Cat to make an approach on the residence to clear it for
any other potential threats. Jacob was given medical attention for his gunshot wounds by
medics on scene. A Remington 870 Express Shotgun with a wooden stock was found at the
doorway on the ground where Jacob had fallen. Live shotgun rounds were found in the trailer as
well as one fired shotgun round. The shot gun was found to be empty with the safety on.
Jacob was transported to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls where he later was pronounced dead.
The Minnehaha County SO then took over the crime scene and the Division of Criminal
Investigation (DCI) was contacted to take control of the scene for processing, evidence
collection and documentation.
On 10/16/13, Officer Siebenborn told investigators that as the situation was evolving Jacob
Westberg’s demeanor was noticeably changing. The negotiations began as a conversation and
escalated to Jacob yelling and cursing at officers. Officer Siebenborn was increasingly
concerned for other officers, citizens and himself after Jacob had fired a round inside his trailer
and displayed a shotgun. Officer Siebenborn feared for his life and the lives of others when
Jacob pointed a long gun at him.
When Jacob opened the door of his residence and pointed a shotgun at Officer Siebenborn,
Officer Siebenborn fired two (2) rounds from his Colt M4 Rifle. Officer Siebenborn’s blood, urine,
weapon, uniform, a gunshot residue kit, magazine and remaining duty ammo were collected.
Twenty-eight (28) rounds should be in an officer’s 30-round magazine; Twenty-six (26) rounds
remained as two (2) had been fired. Officer Siebenborn’s blood and urine were submitted to the
South Dakota Health Lab for testing.
On 10/14/13, Deputy Sgt. Evans arrived on scene and responded to the area south of Jacob’s
trailer. There, Sgt. Evans held a perimeter position to contain the developing situation. He was
then called to assist with negotiations as a member of the Crisis Negotiations Unit. Sgt. Evans
then repositioned himself to the front of Jacob’s trailer where he began negotiations on the
phone and in person. As negotiations continued, Sgt. Evans noticed Jacob’s demeanor
Jacob had come to the front of his trailer wielding a long gun on one occasion and it appeared
as if he fired a round inside of his trailer. Sgt. Evans then observed Jacob standing in the door
way of his trailer pointing a long gun. Sgt. Evans told the other officers that Jacob had a gun.
When the Bear Cat moved near the north east of Jacob’s trailer Sgt. Evans and Officer
Siebenborn used it for cover. Sgt. Evans then heard what sounded like two gun shots which
were from Officer Siebenborn.