Family and friends gathers outside of the Andrew. W. Bogue Federal Building near downtown Rapid City, South Dakota, for the September 6, 2017, plea hearing of Tiffanee Garnier. Photo by Richie Richards

Native Sun News Today: Family seeks justice for murder on Pine Ridge Reservation

A prayer vigil for Vinny Brewer

Parents say his death is catalyst for change
By Richie Richards
Native Sun News Today Correspondent

RAPID CITY –– The family of Vincent “Vinny” Brewer, Jr. gathered outside of the federal courthouse in Rapid City for a prayer vigil as Tiffanee Garnier, 31, accepted a plea deal for her involvement in the murder of Brewer.

On October 16, Brewer, 29, was shot 17 times by assailants and died in the parking lot of the SuAnne Big Crow Center during a basketball tournament. The shooting happened in broad daylight in front of several witnesses, according to family members.

Over twenty friends and family members attended the September 6 prayer vigil held in front of the Andrew W. Bogue Federal Building with signs that read, “Justice 4 Vinny”, including Brewer’s parents, Vincent Brewer, Sr. and Lisa High Wolf.

For the first time since her arrest in November 2016 in Colorado, Brewer’s family was able to see Garnier as she pleaded guilty to Accessory After The Fact for her involvement in Brewer’s murder. Sentencing for Garnier could be up to 15 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing date has not been scheduled at the time this article was published.

The court hearing brought out some of the emotions which may have been bottled up by Brewer’s family and the family of Garnier, as a small emotional outburst between both mothers occurred before court began.

In an exclusive interview with Native Sun News Today, the parents of Vinny Brewer, Jr. gave details of their mourning process, the court hearing, and the void felt in their lives in the absence of their basketball star son who played for the Pine Ridge Thorpes.

Immediately following the hour-long hearing, the family gathered outside of federal building near downtown Rapid City to grieve and support one another. The hearing brought out many emotions for both friends and family who felt justice was not served in the case of Tiffanee Garnier.

“I’m angry right now. I hope that she (Garnier) could tell what happened so that we can have some type of closure, more details,” said High Wolf.

Both parents agree that their first-born son was the center of their worlds and blame the role meth played in their son’s life as the central cause of his death. Lisa High Wolf said it was necessary for her to forgive and through forgiveness she can overcome the loss.

“My son means everything to me. Even in death, he means everything to me. It’s so hard living without him. He’s just the best person in the world,” she said smiling with tears in her eyes.

The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, as with many tribal territories, is being plagued with meth-related crimes and deaths. Tribal law enforcement officials and federal authorities have cited inadequate funding in law enforcement and lack of treatment centers for meth addiction as major causes for the epidemic.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: A prayer vigil for Vinny Brewer

Contact Richie Richards, Native Sun News Today Correspondent, at

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