Man dies during standoff at Selma Police Department

Published 11:34 am Monday, November 7, 2016

A 21-year-old Selma man was shot and killed at the police department Monday morning after wrestling a gun away from an officer.

Selma Police Chief John Brock said it is too early in the investigation to determine if Rykemp Giles died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or from shots fired by an officer during the scuffle.

“This is a tragic thing that happened today, especially at Selma Police Department headquarters,” Brock said. “My officers are very upset. A lot of the senior staff is upset. Some of the civilian employees that were here are very much upset.”

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The shooting happened while Giles was being booked for charges related to a domestic violence call involving his mother Monday morning. Giles was being charged with disorderly conduct, domestic violence assault and resisting arrest.

“When he was getting processed he attacked the clerk. He cut her several times. That’s when the officer heard and realized what was going on. He came into the processing room where they were at,” Brock said. “He attacked the officer as soon as the officer saw him. The fight incurred. That’s where the officer lost his weapon. He (Giles) got it, and that is when shots were fired.”

People pray outside the Selma Police Department on Monday.

People gather outside the Selma Police Department on Monday.

Brock said Giles took the gun and went into a holding cell in the old city jail on the second floor. Civilian employees were evacuated from the building, and the Special Response Team was called in. Minutes later Giles was found dead.

“They went in and found the suspect in the back cell [slouched] over with a gunshot wound to his body,” Brock said.

District Attorney Michael Jackson said an autopsy will be completed to determine how Giles died.

“The autopsy will be able to tell them more about who actually fired the fatal shot,” Jackson said. “So the autopsy is very important and key about what actually happened. The theory is out there, but it is best to get all the evidence in before you start guessing about who actually did what.”

Giles, who used a box cutter to cut the clerk and the officer on the throat, was not handcuffed when the incident happened.

“He was in the process of being fingerprinted,” Brock said.

“They brought him into the room to get his fingerprints and his picture. That is when he attacked the clerk.”

Brock said Giles was searched when he was arrested, and a knife and lighter were confiscated, but he still managed to have a box cutter on him.

“He had it somewhere else on his body somewhere,” Brock said. “He was searched even before he was transported.”

Giles was arrested Monday morning on Magazine Avenue after the police were called to his home.

Monday was not the department’s first time dealing with Giles.

“We have been to that house on several occasions dealing with this guy. He was known to several of our officers up here,” Brock said. “There are some mental issues that the mother relayed to us.”

Brock said the department’s internal affairs division will review the booking process to determine if changes need to be made.

“Over the years I have been here we have had several fights in the jail,” Brock said. “We’ve had a couple of gunshots fired over the years, but we’ve never actually had someone die.”

Two officers have been placed on administrative leave until the State Bureau of Investigation closes its investigation.

Jackson said the findings will be presented to a grand jury to determine if the officers acted appropriately.

The State Bureau of Investigation has taken over the investigation. Brock said more details will be released once the investigation is concluded and results from the autopsy come back.