Manhunt Leads To Hartford Fire, Three Arrests

HARTFORD, S.D. – We’re learning the latest about Tuesday night’s fire in Hartford. It’s what law enforcement is calling a “fugitive apprehension gone wrong.”

However, this isn’t one suspect’s first run-in with the law.

It’s a shocking scene – sky high flames and flashing lights disrupting a peaceful summer night.

Law enforcement says Tuesday night allegedly started with this man – James Joseph Lanpher Jr. The 36-year-old is no stranger to police.

Sheriff deputies describe him as a “known meth user” who carries weapons. Tuesday night, officials followed Lanpher in umarked cars. He was driving a stolen Buick. Sienna Irons, 22, was a passenger in the car.

Officers say they saw a gun in that vehicle.

“He made numerous threats that he wouldn’t be taken alive,” said Captain Jason Gearman of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office. “He’d shoot it out with the cops. [He’s] not going back to prison.”

According to Gearman, Lanpher pulled into a garage. Then, deputies say he rammed their vehicle several times.

Lanpher climbed through a hole in the garage. On the other side, the fugitive task force arrested Lanpher. They also arrested the passenger, Irons, for outstanding warrants.

Gearman also says it was no accident that Lanpher headed to Ruud Lane. There, they arrested Rishaunna Kluever, 34, for harboring a fugitive. She also had outstanding warrants.

Then, flames.

“The garage started on fire from the vehicle that was through the back wall,” said Sergeant Ryan Qualseth.

Officials safely evacuated everyone in the building.

No one has hurt, but the fire destroyed the cars parked in these garages.

The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s office does not have an estimate of the damage at this time. However, they are predicting a “total loss” for this structure.

Lanpher is facing a long list of new charges. They include aggravated assault and possession of stolen property.

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