O’Leary clears Beloit officers in fatal shooting
BELOIT—Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary has cleared the Beloit Police Department officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man in downtown Beloit last month, according to a news release issued Wednesday.
According to the release:
O’Leary reviewed the investigative reports in the June 11 death of Darrius J. Lowery Baptiste, 23, of Beloit, and concluded that Baptiste was shot and killed by the officers “as a direct result of Baptiste’s own actions in threatening the lives” of a police sergeant and citizens in the area.
O’Leary also stated the officers’ use of force was legal and appropriate, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation’s reports.
The incident started shortly after 5 p.m. when Sgt. Dan Tilley, Officer Brian Miller and Officer Seth Hendricks attempted to stop Baptiste’s vehicle. They wanted to take Baptiste into custody for questioning related to a recent shooting in which Baptiste’s cellphone was located at the scene.
Police say Baptiste refused to obey their commands, and Baptiste “rapidly accelerated” his vehicle in the direction of Tilley. Officers feared for Tilley’s safety and fired at Baptiste. Baptiste died at the scene as a result of injuries from multiple gunshots.
Officers recovered a semi-automatic handgun where Baptiste had been lying and found a plastic bag on him containing what officers suspected was crack cocaine.