RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office along with many people in the Black Hills area and Wisconsin are mourning the loss of Deputy Kaitie Leising. Leising was conducting a traffic stop for a potential drunk driver on Saturday when she was shot and killed.
Senior Deputy Jim Waldrop says he saw Kaitie Leising nearly every day, when they worked together in Hill City.
When he heard the devastating news of Kaitie’s death, he couldn’t believe it.
“I was actually at an event with a supervisor with our CPD and he got an email and I was like that can’t be right and maybe I just hoped it wasn’t right,” Deputy Waldrop said.
Leising was 29 years old. She worked at the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office from February of 2020 to January of 2022.
“She will be missed and grieved and her infectious smile and bubbly personality and just her ease to be around impacted more people than we will ever know,” Deputy Waldrop said.
Leising left a lasting impact on many of her former co-workers, people in the Hill City community, and Sheriff Brian Mueller.
“Obviously our staff are deeply saddened by her passing, she had a big impact on us here at the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. We are a family and we lost a family member, we are feeling that this week and it has been pretty tough,” Sheriff Mueller said.
Sheriff Mueller says officers and deputies in law enforcement are faced with these risks every day.
“And not only are we saddened by her passing but also angered over the senseless killing of law enforcement officers across the country,” Sheriff Mueller said.
The Sheriff’s Office hopes by sharing her story, people will remember Kaitie’s positive attitude, her willingness to help, and her outstanding work in the field.
Pennington County Sheriff Brian Mueller says he plans to give his deputies time to grieve and keep their wellness in mind. He says this is a difficult time for members of the department.