Walworth County sheriff’s deputies shot an armed Whitewater man who was running from authorities early Monday morning in Whitewater, but a news release says the man is expected to survive.
The release shared Monday from the sheriff’s office said the 32-year-old man “at one point pointed a handgun” at officers who were searching for him because they suspected he had made threats to and broken into the home of his ex-wife.
No one else was injured from the shooting, according to the release.
Police at about 5:36 a.m. Monday were searching for the man and saw him in the area of the home on Fraternity Lane where his ex-wife lives, according to the release.
“Police attempted to speak with the suspect, however he began to run away on foot and at one point pointed a handgun at law enforcement officers,” the release states. “Deputies shot the suspect in an attempt to stop the imminent deadly threat.”
On the night before the shooting, at about 8:20 p.m. Sunday, Whitewater police were investigating a claim that the man had threatened to kill his ex-wife and himself with a gun, according to the release. Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the UW-Whitewater Police Department searched for the man overnight.
At about 3:52 a.m., the man’s ex-wife said a man had broken into her apartment, where she hid until the man left, the release states. Whitewater police reported finding a live round of ammunition at the scene.
The news release shared Monday afternoon did not name the man or the deputies who shot him, but the sheriff’s office said more information will be released “later this week.”
A Gazette reporter left a voicemail on the phone number listed on the release asking if the deputies had body cameras on and activated during the shooting.
The sheriff’s office in the release says it would not give more information Monday.
The deputies involved in the shooting are on administrative duty, the release states. The state Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.
Before Monday, the most recent police shooting in Walworth County came on the night of Oct. 18, 2018, when Deputy Peter Wisnefsky shot and killed Sean A. Dutcher, 38, in Elkhorn.
Authorities tried to stop Dutcher’s vehicle, which came to a stop but then drove a short distance toward Wisnefsky, according to body camera footage. The deputy then fired into the car, which then drove into a building.
District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld said that shooting was justified.
Walworth County law enforcement and sheriff’s office officials also were sued after a different shooting from then-deputy Juan Ortiz, who fired into a moving car and killed the car’s passenger, Christopher J. Davis, 21, in February 2016 in East Troy.
Davis’ mother filed the lawsuit, saying officers were negligent and indifferent leading up to the shooting and that some officers destroyed squad-car camera video recordings.
From 2010 through 2018, Walworth County law enforcement have been responsible for eight fatal police shootings, which is more frequent than what national figures suggest for a county of its size.