DA: Tomah shooting by officers 'justified' - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

DA: Tomah shooting by officers 'justified'


TOMAH, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- Police officers hope they never have to pull, much less use their gun. But when the situation called for it, their training kicked in.

When a suspect pulls a weapon, a police officer has moments to react.

"It seemed like it took forever. It really did. It took forever for me to get out of the car. By the time it finally stopped, it felt like minutes. It honestly did," says officer Josh Kenworthy, Tomah Police Department.

Kenworthy was one of four officers at the scene, when 28-year-old Seth McCloskey pulled a gun on the police.

Three officers fired back, killing McCloskey. Kenworthy was the only one injured after a shot to his foot.

"It didn't actually hurt when it first happened. I didn't even really realize it. I felt something. I looked down. I could see the exit hole in my boot. The subject was still out of the car firing on us, so I had to continue with the exchange. It wasn't until after it kind of had stopped, I stepped back behind some cover and realized I had been shot. Then the pain started after that," Kenworthy says.

Sgt. Chris Weaver pulled up to the scene to find his officers under attack.

"I took my rifle off my seat and returned fire at him from inside my vehicle," Weaver says.

The officers involved in the shooting were confident that their use of deadly force was justified. They say it helps to have the district attorney's support for their decision.

"It is one less thing to worry about when the district attorney is able to clear us and reaffirm in our minds that it was justified, that we were doing what we had to do at that point," Weaver says.

Not only the DA, but Police Chief Wes Revels calls the officers' actions admirable and courageous.

"It's kind of great to hear we had all made the correct decisions. For the most part everybody came out okay, minus my foot," Kenworthy says.

The district attorney says he will close the case involving the officers and the shooting.

He says there is nothing left to investigate on those grounds.

The officials are still trying to connect the dots as to whether McCloskey was involved in that drive-by shooting earlier that day, or whether he was connected to other drive-bys in Dane and Rock county and even in Illinois.

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The Monroe County District Attorney has ruled the fatal shooting by police of an armed suspect who fired at them as justified.

District Attorney Dan Cary made the announcement Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at the Tomah Police Department.

With the ruling, Cary says he's closing the case. 

Tomah Police Chief Wesley Revels also released the dash-cam video of the April 22nd shooting.

Officers pulled over a pickup truck that they believed was involved in a drive-by shooting earlier in the day.

28-year-old Seth McCloskey came out firing at officers, who returned fire.  Officer Josh Kenworthy was wounded in the shootout.  At least three homes in the residential neighborhood were hit by gunfire during the exchange.  McCloskey then retreated back into his vehicle.

He was later found dead inside the truck by officers.

Further investigation showed that McCloskey had a long criminal record in the U.S.  Authorities also state that he may be connected to at least 10 other shootings in Illinois and Wisconsin earlier in the month.

We will have more on this story, including comments from the officers involved in the shooting, tonight on Live at Five, the 6pm and 10pm Reports.



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