GREENVILLE - Leaders of the Lakota Nation Tuesday spoke with passion and called for unity amid what has been a dark three months since the killing of Lightning Medicine Cloud.
Just days before a grand jury may hear evidence in the case, Lakota Tribesmen Arby Little Soldier and Sam Lone Wolf made it clear during a press conference that justice must be served for such a heinous act, of which they claim was committed by at least seven people of Native American tribes other than Lakota.
Little Soldier, owner of the Lakota Ranch – which played host to an extravagant naming ceremony for Lightning just last summer – seems prepared to let due process play out, while Lone Wolf was vocal in his displeasure of the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office handling of the investigation, and says “we will bring those people [suspects] and give them to them right there on the courthouse steps if we have to.”
“They’ve taken too long,” said Lone Wolf. “I came out here, even after it happened, and the evidence is still out there. And I was waiting to see if they would pick it up and they still didn’t.”
Lightning Medicine Cloud, born on May 12, 2011, was killed on April 28, 2012. His mother, Buffalo Woman, was found deceased the following day.
Little Soldier says Lightning was sacrificed.
“The way he was slaughtered out here, the way he was murdered, it was pretty much the style of a Native American and how they would do it. And the way I seen the way he was laying there and stuff, and the way they did him – with no meat left, no guts left, and the hide was gone, and just the bones left on part of his body – yes, very much so.”
Little Soldier added that non-natives may have also played a role in the killing.
“Words cannot express the feelings and emotions that have passed through our minds, thoughts and our souls since the finding of Lightning Medicine Cloud’s bones against the fence. For 11 months before he was the showcase of thousands of anxious visitors and the hope of all nations.”
But Little Soldier says the legacy of Lightning will live on.
When asked by a law enforcement officer of the value of Lightning Medicine Cloud, Lone Wolf said, “He’s priceless. You can’t put a dollar sign. He came to fill a message. His life was taken before that message was fulfilled. Those of us that are here, we’ll see that message through.”
Little Soldier added, “It [the case] is going to go before a grand jury on the 27th if there is enough evidence and hopefully there is enough evidence to bring it up. If not, let’s do it on August 24 if the evidence is not there.”