POLK COUNTY -- After reviewing the recent officer-involved shooting that occurred in Polk County, Burnett County District Attorney Rennicke has determined that the officers acted appropriately and does not recommend any criminal action or charges, according to letter sent as a press release from the Burnett County DA.
Dear Mr. Kemp and Chief Murphy:
The Burnett County District Attorney’s Office has been asked to investigate and review for possible charges an officer involved death incident that occurred on the evening of August 8, 2020 in St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.
The shooting occurred when St. Croix Falls police officers responded to a domestic incident at a motel located at 726 South Vincent Street in the City of St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.
Two St. Croix Falls police officers responded to the call at the motel.
A woman in room 258 had called for help. Also the owner of the motel had also called 911 to report a disturbance from room 258. There were other civilians in the immediate area of this incident.
An officer knocked on the door to room 258 and announced the presence of police. A male with a large kitchen “Chef’s type “ knife exited the motel room. Officers ordered the man to drop the knife. The man raised the knife in a threatening manner, and aggressively approached one of the officers, while still brandishing the knife. Both officers continued to give loud verbal commands to drop the knife. When the man continued to rapidly approach the officer while still holding the knife, the officer fired his service pistol. The officer fired three shots in rapid succession. The man fell to the ground and dropped the knife. The knife was moved away from the suspect male. The motel room was “cleared” and an adult woman with severe knife wounds was found on or near a bed in the motel room. She required emergency medical treatment. An ambulance and notice of the shooting was immediately communicated by the officers. Emergency medical aid was attempted to be provided by both officers, once the scene was otherwise secured. Other civilians were segregated from the area.
Other law enforcement and emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene shortly thereafter in due course. A severely injured woman was taken from the motel room via ambulance. The suspect male died at the scene from his injuries.
Upon review, it is the belief of this writer that the officers each acted appropriately. That the shooting officer was authorized to use necessary and reasonable force, in this case, deadly force, to uphold the law and to defend himself and others. No criminal action or charges are recommended against the officer involved.
Thank you for this referral. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office.
James Jay Rennicke, Esquire
Burnett County District Attorney