February 5, 2021 – Kewaskum, WI – Washington County Sheriff’s Office investigators are continuing to piece together the tragic events that occurred on Forest View Road in the Town of Kewaskum on Wednesday afternoon which resulted in the deaths of three Washington County men.
The sheriff’s office is receiving assistance from the Wisconsin State Patrol and the West Bend Police Department.
The tragic events began on Wednesday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. when a 30-year-old City of West Bend man stole a car in the City of West Bend.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation continues leading the investigation into the officer-involved shooting by conducting an independent investigation into the death of the suspect in accordance with state law.
Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis is committed to maintaining the integrity of the investigative process while also fulfilling his commitment to transparency within the community. As a result, we are releasing the following information on the current investigation.
The tragic events began on Wednesday afternoon around 2:30 p.m. when a 30-year-old City of West Bend man stole a car in the City of West Bend. At around 2:45 p.m. the suspect crashed the car on Forest View Road north of Ridge Road in the Town of Kewaskum after he failed to negotiate a curve which resulted in a roll-over accident. The suspect was able to self-extricate himself and forced entry into a nearby unoccupied residence. At the same time, a 52-year-old Port Washington woman came upon the accident and pulled over to check to see if anyone needed assistance. She encountered the suspect who physically assaulted her and attempted to take her car. The suspect crashed that car while leaving the driveway.
The suspect then ran to another nearby residence in the 8100 block of Forest View Road. At 2:50 p.m. he forced entry into the locked front door of the home and encountered the homeowners. He demanded and obtained their car keys. He attempted to drive away but was not able to get the car started. He came back into the residence and physically assaulted the elderly couple.The suspect once again exited the home in an attempt to steal the car. The male homeowner retrieved a handgun for protection. Tragically, the suspect was able to overpower the victim and took control of the gun. He then fatally shot the 72-year-old male homeowner. The suspect then attempted to shoot the wife but the firearm did not fire. The suspect then fled on foot to another residence in the 8200 block of Forest View Road where he encountered another resident. The suspect obtained a shotgun in the home and fatally shot the 77-year-old male resident just outside his garage. The suspect then fled the residence. This homicide was unwitnessed. All of the victims throughout this incident were random and unknown to the suspect.
Moments later, the first arriving deputies encountered the armed suspect on Forest View Road near the scene of the second homicide as he was leaving that area around 3:05 p.m. The deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire and the suspect was struck with a law enforcement round. A perimeter was established and a drone located a subject matching the suspect’s description a short distance north of the deputy(s) initial encounter. Officers approached and located the suspect deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. A firearm was also located near the decedent.
The shooting deputy is a nine-year veteran of Washington County law enforcement and has been placed on administrative leave as a standard protocol pending the outcome of the independent investigation. He was not injured as a result of this incident.
Sheriff Schulteis said, “This horrific incident has struck this community and our agency at its core. We lost two valuable members of our community at the hands of this senseless crime spree. Their absence will impact many and we mourn with you. Our thoughts, prayers, and sympathies go out to the surviving victims and families of the deceased whose lives are forever changed. There are many more questions to be answered as to why this occurred. I assure the community that investigators are working diligently to be able to provide those answers. In the meantime, we ask that the public respect the privacy of the victims and their families and allow them to grieve.”
Sheriff Schulteis finally added, “Our deputies never want to be placed in the position where they are required to use lethal force against our citizens. I am proud of the overwhelming law enforcement call to action which no doubt mitigated further violence from occurring; however, that does not provide peace to the loved ones of our victims. I believe the deputy’s actions were tragically necessary to protect the deputy and the community he took an oath to protect. Ultimately the independent investigation will be forwarded to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office to review, but our deputy’s actions ended a murderous rampage within our community.”
We are unable to release any additional information at this time.
The Washington County Insider first reported on this incident as it was happening Wednesday, February 2, 2021.
This continues to be a developing story. Washington County Insider will bring you more information as it becomes available.