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Tomah Shooting


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  • Tomah Shooting

    From The Tomah Journal:

    A Tomah police officer was wounded and another man killed in a shooting Friday evening in Tomah.

    Police pulled over a red pickup truck just before 6:30 p.m. near Kilbourn Avenue and Saratoga Street suspecting it had been involved in a drive-by shooting earlier in the day. The driver, a 28-year-old man, came out of the truck shooting.

    Police said they returned fire. The man went back to the truck, and officers surrounded the vehicle.

    One officer was wounded in the exchange and later taken to a La Crosse hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

    The standoff ended about two hours later when police approached the pickup and found the man dead.

    Authorities would not release the name of the officer or the man who was killed.

    Kirby Retzlaff was looking out his front window on Kilbourn Avenue when the police squad lights first lit up behind the red truck. That's when he says he heard about 30 rounds of fire from an automatic weapon.

    "I hollered to my wife ‘Get down, get down, get down,'" he said. Retzlaff and his wife, Kim, dropped to the floor.

    "It was like being in a damn war zone," he said.

    The truck came to a halt on a curb near the intersection of Saratoga Street and Woodard Avenue. A motionless person inside seemed to have a foot on the acceleration pedal as the echo of the engine sounded through the neighborhood.

    Retzlaff said almost immediately an officer ran by his house and said the shooting probably wasn't done yet.

    More than two dozen officers from the Tomah Police Department, State Patrol, and Monroe, La Crosse and Juneau county sheriff's departments blocked off the streets from Monroe to Brownell streets and Kilbourn to Woodard Avenue. Several homes were evacuated.

    Most officers took cover behind their vehicles, guns drawn at the truck, until the La Crosse County armored Bearcat vehicle arrived.

    For almost two hours, some residents hid in their houses, while others watched from the sidelines.

    A body could be seen later in the street near the pickup.

    Tomah resident Tim Murphy was driving down Superior Avenue when he heard the gun shots. He parked his car nearby just in time to see a limping officer surrounded by other officials.

    "It's just freaky," he said. "I never thought this would happen in Tomah."

    Earlier Friday, Tomah police issued a press release asking for the public's help in solving a drive-by shooting that happened at a house near Bloyer Airfield at 1:38 p.m. No one was injured in that shooting, but officers determined three bullets were fired, two of which were recovered.

    It's unclear what led police to later pull over the red pickup truck.

    Police plan to release more information about the shooting in a press conference today.

    Link to Dashcam here: http://lacrossetribune.com/news/arti...tml?mode=video

    Great job by the officer involved and hope for a speedy recovery
    "I would suggest that when a person has a thought of doing anything serious against the law, that before they did, that they should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously."

    William George Bonin - Executed in Calfornia Feb 23rd 1996

  • #2
    Well done Tomah PD. My prayers go out to the wounded officer, hope all goes well on that front.

    Just goes to show that no matter where you work, bad sh*t can happen.
    Originally posted by kontemplerande
    Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.


    • #3
      Here is more information, clarifying some things left out of the first article.

      Originally posted by NBC15.com
      UPDATED Wednesday, May 4, 2011 --- 7:15 a.m.

      *NOTE: Police release dash cam video of the shootout. Click on the video link ABOVE for video.

      From WEAU.com [NBC15's sister station in Eau Claire]:

      EAU CLAIRE (WEAU) - Police officers shoot and kill a man after he opened fire, and it's all caught on tape. We talked with the officer hit in the shootout. The officers involved in that deadly shooting are cleared as the District Attorney says they were justified to use deadly force.

      From the moment Seth McCloskey opened his door to the moment he opened fire was only two and a half seconds but for the man who took one of his bullets, time stood still.

      "Felt like minutes, it honestly did, and I got to see the video last week it’s very surprising to see how long it really took," says Tomah Police Officer Josh Kenworthy, who was shot in the foot by the gunman.

      In just about six seconds McCloskey fired at least eight shots, hitting Officer Kenworthy in the foot. As a result he lost part of a toe.

      “It didn't hurt when it first happened, I didn't realize it, I felt something and saw the exit wound in the boot but the suspect was still shooting so I had to continue with the exchange. It wasn't until after I got behind some cover then the pain set in," says Kenworthy.

      He was one of four Tomah cops in the shootout. Monroe County District Attorney, Daniel Cary, says the officers were justified in using deadly force.

      “It's clear to me Mr. McCloskey's intent was to take the life of one of these officers or both," says Cary.

      Earlier on April 22nd, Tomah Police say the 28-year-old was a suspect in a drive-by shooting in town. They say someone at a bar told McCloskey police were looking for him.

      "That allowed him to make decisions in the relationship to what he was going to do at that traffic stop," says Tomah Police Chief Wes Revels.

      Once the Tomah Officers shot at the stolen truck he was driving, they called for back up. That's when a SWAT Team found him dead in the truck. Police don't know if he has ties to Tomah, if he was responsible for the drive by shooting in town or several others that came to light later, here in Wisconsin and Illinois. Now the Department of Criminal Investigation is trying to piece it all together while praising the police work.

      "The officers were heroes here," says Special Agent Jed Sperry, with DCI.

      As for Kenworthy, he expects to be back on the job later this summer.

      "I'm chomping at the bit; I am getting a little stir crazy sitting at home," says Kenworthy.

      Investigators say McCloskey had an Ohio driver’s license and had been traveling through several states before the shooting.
      Glad the officer is okay.


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