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RAPID CITY, S.D. – Authorities have released interview details from a fatal stabbing that happened at a Castle Heights Place home over the weekend.
A woman called police at 1:15 a.m. Saturday, saying a man had been stabbed. When an officer arrived, the defendant, 32-year-old Lorraine Swallow, opened the door and said, “I’m sorry, self-defense.”
Swallow said she stabbed her nephew, 28-year-old Tyrell B. Bull Bear, in the chest after he tried to fight her.
The officer detained Swallow and went inside the home. He found three people trying to help Bull Bear, who was found on the floor, in the doorway of an upstairs bedroom. The officer had them step back as he performed CPR.
Other officers and medical crews arrived to help with life-saving measures, but ultimately, Bull Bear was declared dead at the home.
The three people left in the house were taken in for interviews. Police learned that Swallow lived at the home, and she and her nephew were involved in a verbal altercation.
Below are witness accounts:
Witness #1 (female): According to this witness, the Bull Bear tossed a knife in his aunt’s direction, saying something to the effect of, “You think you’re tough? Go ahead and stab me.”
The witness saw Swallow stab him twice.
The witness was back and forth on whether she felt Swallow was justified and ultimately said she probably would’ve done the same thing in Swallow’s position.
She said Bull Bear was in Swallow’s face and wouldn’t allow her to leave the room. She described him as belligerent, upset and “miserable,” saying he was egging Swallow on and putting his chest toward her.
Witness #2 (female): This witness said she heard Bull Bear encourage Swallow to stab him if she was tough enough. She heard this through the neighboring bedroom but did not see the stabbing.
Witness #3 (male): This witness spoke with investigators three times, saying he was under the influence of marijuana the first two times.
The witness said he was in a bedroom at the time of the stabbing. He said Bull Bear fell into the partially closed bedroom door, and that was when the witness realized he’d been stabbed. He saw Bull Bear fall backward into the doorway of another bedroom, where he was found.
He said he arrived at the home shortly before the stabbing. When he arrived, he heard Bull Bear talking loudly in Swallow’s bedroom, as if he was trying to prove a point. When he got to the bedroom, it was 5-10 minutes before Bull Bear fell into the door.
In a second interview, the witness said Bull Bear came into the bedroom and threatened to beat him up. Swallow and the first witness came into the room and the victim also threatened to beat them up. He said Bull Bear knocked Swallow to the floor twice by pushing her with his shoulder.
After the second time, Swallow came up with a knife and stabbed Bull Bear once. He recalled that Bull Bear had asked Swallow if she was tough but didn’t see him with a knife.
The witness called back and asked to speak with investigators again, saying he was high on marijuana when he spoke the first two times. He said he had eaten some marijuana to destroy it after officers arrived.
He again said he was in the bedroom and that Bull Bear came in with Swallow and the first witness, making verbal threats toward him. But the witness said he didn’t act on the threats. He said Bull Bear was clenching his fists and jumping around but never came toward him.
He said Swallow intervened and an argument broke out between her and Bull Bear. He confirmed that Bull Bear pushed Swallow to the floor with his shoulder but that she then pushed him back.
Bull Bear became more upset, took his shirt off and pushed her down again. He said the first witness grabbed Bull Bear and held him against the door, telling him to calm down. He calmed down, stopped clenching his fists and put his hands down.
The witness saw Swallow grab a knife from the TV stand in the bedroom and said Bull Bear said something like, “Are you going to stab me with that knife?”
Swallow took a couple steps toward Bull Bear and stabbed him once. When she grabbed it, the blade was pointed up, but when she stabbed him, she was holding it down.
The witness thought Bull Bear was calm before the stabbing and that Swallow didn’t have to stab him.
Evidence agrees with witness accounts that Bull Bear was stabbed in the entry area of one bedroom and fell into the entryway of another bedroom. Several knives were found that could potentially be the murder weapon.
Swallow is being held on a $100,000 cash-only bond.
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