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Former South Dakota mayor charged with triple homicide

Police tape cordons off the scene of a fatal shooting at Delaware County Linen in Chester, Pa., Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo) Police tape cordons off the scene of a fatal shooting at Delaware County Linen in Chester, Pa., Wednesday, May 22, 2024. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)
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CENTREVILLE, S.D. -

Three people were shot to death in a small South Dakota town, and a former law officer who once served as the town's mayor is charged in the killings.

Jay Ostrem, 64, was jailed on US$1 million cash-only bond on three counts of first-degree murder, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said Tuesday in a news release. It wasn't immediately clear if Ostrem had an attorney. Calls to a phone listing for Ostrem went unanswered.

A probable cause affidavit identified the victims as two brothers, ages 26 and 21, and a 35-year-old man.

Ostrem worked in law enforcement for more than two decades in Wyoming and South Dakota, media reports said. He served as mayor of Centreville about a decade-and-a-half ago, but the exact dates weren't immediately available.

The probable cause document said a man in Centreville called police at 9:44 p.m. Monday to report that his brother had been shot by “a guy from across the street” and that the shooter had gone back home. The caller was still on the phone with a dispatcher when he said that he had been shot, too. He then stopped talking, the document said.

The document didn't specify any connection between the third victim and the brothers.

Ostrem was arrested a short time later. An AR-style rifle was on the ground near him, and he had a handgun in his pocket, the document stated.

Officers then went to the home where the call originated and found all three victims.

Ostrem's wife told police that a neighbor named Paul had sexually assaulted her on Thursday, and she told Ostrem about the assault Monday night, the document stated. She said Ostrem “got up and went raging out of the house,” according to the document.

Centreville is about 40 miles (64 kilometres) south of Sioux Falls.

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