The South Dakota Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies are searching the Salem area today for two men following a vehicle pursuit on U.S. Highway 81 that led to a crash and the suspects fleeing on foot.

The incident began shortly after midnight when a Highway Patrol trooper tried to make traffic stop on a van that was exceeding the posted speed limit on Highway 81 south of Salem. The northbound vehicle refused to stop. During the pursuit, the van made a U-turn in the road and headed back toward the trooper’s vehicle. The trooper saw what he believed was a gun in the passenger’s hand and heard a shot. It is unknown if the shot was fired intentionally or directed at law enforcement.

The van left Highway 81 and headed eastbound on a gravel road, where it went out of control and rolled into the north ditch. When pursuers approached the van, it was empty. A search of the area started immediately and continues at this time. The occupants of the van were described as white males. The passenger had a buzz cut, while the driver had longer hair.

Authorities have determined that the van is a stolen vehicle. They are cautioning area residents to lock their homes and vehicles. It is unknown if the suspects are armed. They should be considered dangerous.

The State Division of Criminal Investigation is involved in the investigation. Because it is an active criminal investigation, no further information is available at this time.
Besides the Highway Patrol and DCI, personnel from the Davison, McCook and Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Offices and the Freeman Police Department assisted.