Walworth County deputies cleared in fatal shooting

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Ted Sullivan
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
— The high-speed pursuit June 30 ended when Antonio J. Torres stopped his 1999 Mercury Mountaineer on County H near Pell Lake, opened the driver's door and pushed his 1-year-old daughter to the centerline.

He stayed in his seat, grabbed his shotgun and pointed it toward his daughter.

Two Walworth County sheriff's deputies opened fire.

"I absolutely thought that he was going to kill the little girl," deputy Jon Albrecht later told investigators. "He was going to kill the girl, and I shot him to save her life."

Torres died at the scene.

Albrecht and deputy Jamie Green acted in self-defense and in the defense of others June 30 when they shot Torres, 41, of Pleasant Prairie, Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss said in a letter to the state Department of Justice.

An inquest will not be held in the case, Koss said.

"There is no other reasonable conclusion other than deputies Albrecht and Green were attempting to save the life of (the girl)," Koss said. "I have no doubt in my mind that they did so."

The deputies also acted appropriately in regard to their training, Walworth County Undersheriff Kurt Picknell said.

"The closing of the case confirmed what we knew all along," Picknell said. "Everyone involved performed at a high level of professionalism from the Amber Alert. As a result, (the child) is alive and well."

Earlier that day, Torres beat his 1-year-old daughter's mother in Kenosha, causing the woman to spit up blood, according to sheriff's reports. He then kidnapped the girl.

Torres later talked with Kenosha police and said, "Next time you see me and my daughter, we'll both have our heads blown off."

An Amber Alert was issued.

Torres was spotted by law enforcement hours later along Highway 50 in eastern Walworth County.

He led several patrol cars on a high-speed chase with his daughter in the vehicle, according to sheriff's reports.

At one point, Torres stopped and pointed a shotgun at law enforcement officers before speeding away.

Another time, he held his daughter out the driver's window while driving, shaking her with both hands under her armpits.

He then stopped on County H where he was fatally shot, sheriff's officials said.

Albrecht fired two shots, one of which appeared to be fatal, Koss said. Green fired one shot.

"I believe the fact that two separate officers reached the same conclusion, that (the girl's) life was in danger, corroborates the reasonableness of their acts," Koss said.

Torres died of head trauma from a gunshot wound, the Walworth County coroner said. His shotgun fell onto the pavement.

The girl was uninjured and reunited with her mother.

The deputies were temporarily removed from active duty after the shooting.

Last updated: 10:46 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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