Beloit officers cleared in shooting

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Gazette staff
Monday, June 2, 2014

BELOIT—Rock County's district attorney has cleared two Beloit police officers in the shooting of a suspect May 11.

District Attorney David O'Leary announced he reviewed reports on the State Division of Criminal Investigation before making his judgment.

Officers were dispatched at 7:40 p.m. May 11 to 934 10th St. in Beloit and saw Christopher T. Rutherford and Sheila N. Rosenbaum struggling over car keys, according to O'Leary's news release.

The officers separated the two and saw Rutherford had a knife. Rutherford ignored commands to stop and got into a van, starting the engine, the release states.

Officers shot a Taser, but that didn't work. Rutherford sped away in the van, running over Rosenbaum in the process, the release states. Rosenbaum died of her injuries.

Officers shot at the van, hitting Rutherford in the shoulder. He was treated at an area hospital and later charged with first-degree reckless homicide.

O'Leary said the reports show the officers acted lawfully and did their duty.

“They were attempting to protect not only their own lives, but the life of Rosenbaum and other citizens in the area who were endangered by Rutherford's behavior,” O'Leary said.

O'Leary praised the officers for trying to prevent further loss of life.

O'Leary also praised Timothy Baars, who reportedly ran after and subdued Rutherford until police arrived.

In a separate news release, Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs said :

“Officers Dave Elrod and Amy Copeland were among other witnesses who became secondary victims of the tragedy occurring on 10th Street that day. The officers will return to work as soon as our administrative steps are taken to get them back on the street."

Last updated: 5:37 pm Monday, June 2, 2014

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