Thursday shooting is eighth by Walworth County law enforcement since 2010

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Frank Schultz
Friday, February 3, 2017

TOWN OF GENEVA—A 26-year-old Lake Geneva man died from police gunfire Thursday night as police investigated a reckless-driving incident, according to a news release.

The incident was the eighth shooting--seven of them fatal--by law enforcement in Walworth County since 2010 and the third in 13 months.

The deceased is Kris Kristl, 26, according to a joint release, issued Friday by the Walworth County sheriff and Elkhorn police chief.

A Walworth County deputy and Elkhorn police officer were “involved in an on-duty, officer-involved shooting” at about 7:46 p.m. Thursday, the release states.

The shooting occurred near Elkhorn's southern city limits on County H near Petrie Road in the town of Geneva.

No one else was injured, authorities said in a previous release.

The deputy involved has six years of law enforcement experience, the last two with the sheriff's office the release states, while the Elkhorn officer has been with that police department for about eight years.

Both officers have been placed on administrative duty, which is standard practice with such incidents, the release states.

No other details about the incident were released

Sheriff Kurt Picknell said the officers involved likely would be identified next week.

He wanted to let family and friends find out who was involved and to give the officers some privacy during the investigation, Picknell said, "but they know their names will be released."

Picknell and Police Chief Joel Christensen “recognize the competing public interest for timely information. However, both agencies must allow the compelling interest of DCI to conduct their investigation in such a manner that preserves the integrity of this case and the safety of the officers,” according to the release.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, is the lead agency in the continuing investigation, according to the release.

Walworth County was the scene of two officer-involved shootings last year.

Picknell declined to comment on the number of officer-involved shootings, saying it would not be appropriate when such incident is still being investigated.

Shootings by Walworth County deputies and police officers since 2010 include these, according to Gazette records:

-- Feb. 24, 2016: A Walworth County sheriff's deputy killed Christopher J. Davis, 21, Milwaukee, in East Troy when the driver of a vehicle Davis was riding in failed to follow commands from law enforcement. The deputy fired after the vehicle tried to flee. Former Walworth County District Attorney Dan Necci said the officer was justified.

-- Jan. 8, 2016: Two town of Geneva police officers shot and killed Eric C. Olsen, 26, town of Geneva, after Olsen used an ax to break a neighbor's window and break into the home. When officers approached, Olsen pulled out a knife and charged at police. The officers acted in self-defense, according to former District Attorney Dan Necci.

-- June 13, 2013: Three deputies shot and killed Jeremiah B. Krubert, 39, Elkhorn, who was suspected of beating his mother's boyfriend with a pipe, stealing a squad car and threatening deputies with a shotgun. Krubert died at the scene in the town of La Grange, about five miles southeast of Whitewater. The district attorney cleared the officers.

-- Jan. 21, 2013: A deputy fatally shot a jail inmate, 18-year-old Alfredo Emilio Villarreal of Janesville, who was hospitalized at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn. The deputy was guarding the inmate, who asked to be unshackled from his bed to use the bathroom. Authorities said Villarreal attacked the deputy and used a chair to try to smash the window and hit the deputy. The deputy's Taser failed to stop Villarreal, and the deputy fatally shot Villarreal.

-- Aug. 24, 2012: A deputy shot Robert Lynn, a suspect in a bank robbery at People's Bank north of Elkhorn. The deputy attempted to stop Lynn's vehicle by setting up stop sticks on Marsh Road about a mile into Waukesha County, but Lynn tried to run over the deputy, Sheriff David Graves said. The deputy shot Lynn in the arm.

-- May 5, 2012: A deputy fatally shot John W. Brown, 22, at his home on Meadow Lane in the town of Lyons after Brown's mother reported her son was suicidal. Brown approached two deputies with a knife, according to investigative reports, and one deputy fired two shots, killing Brown. Brown's mother filed a lawsuit in federal court against the deputy and the county, accusing the officer of using excessive force.

-- July 13, 2010: A sheriff's deputy and two town of Geneva police officers fatally shot Roman O. Petriw, 47, at a home on Dandelion Road in the town of Geneva. Petriw failed to obey orders to drop two handguns, and he shot himself two times in the torso before dropping the weapons, according to reports. Officers ordered him to keep his hands up, but he reached for the gun, prompting officers to fire at him.

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