Date of Release: April 23, 2011; 2:45 p.m.
Date/Time of Incident: April 22, 2011; 6:25 p.m.
Type of Incident: Officer Involved Shooting
Place of Occurrence: 200 Block of East Saratoga
Suspect: White male, 28 years of age, deceased
On April 22, 2011 at approximately 6:25 p.m. officers were conducting a follow up investigation into a drive-by shooting which occurred on April 22, 2011 at 1:38 p.m. Officers initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle near the intersection of Kilbourn Avenue and East Saratoga in the City of Tomah.
The preliminary investigation indicates that the driver of the vehicle exited the vehicle and immediately fired upon officers. One Tomah Police Department Officer received a gunshot wound. Officers returned fire. The suspect returned to and entered his vehicle. Officers requested assistance from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Juneau County Sheriff’s Department, the Sparta Police Department, the Tomah Area Ambulance Service and the Tomah Fire Department. In addition, officers requested the use of the Bearcat Armored Vehicle from the LaCrosse County Sheriff’s Department.
The incident was contained until the arrival of the Bearcat Armored Vehicle. Once on scene, the Bearcat Armored Vehicle was used to safely approach the suspect and his vehicle. The suspect was located in his vehicle, deceased.
The Division of Criminal Investigation and the Wisconsin Crime Lab are assisting the Tomah Police Department in this investigation in consultation with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.
The evidence found at the location of the drive-by shooting that occurred on April 22, at 1:38 p.m. will be compared by the Wisconsin Crime Laboratory personnel to the evidence that was obtained from the location of the traffic stop. The purpose of the comparison is to determine whether or not the two incidents are related.
As a result of the suspect firing rounds at the Officers, Officer Josh Kenworthy was wounded. Officer Kenworthy was transported to Tomah Memorial Hospital by the Tomah Area Ambulance Service and then on to La Crosse where he underwent orthopedic surgery. Officer Kenworthy’s prognosis looks good at this time; however, he remains hospitalized. The names of the other Tomah Police Department personnel who assisted with the traffic stop will not be released at this time. The Division of Criminal Investigation has not completed interviews with the officers at this time. The names of the officers will be released as part of a future press release after the interviews have been completed.
In a previous press release, I indicated that the suspect was a white male, 28 years of age. As a result of the continuing investigative activities, we are working to confirm whether or not the identification that was found with the suspect is his true identity. We are working with the Wisconsin State Crime Lab to gather fingerprints and have them processed to assist in establishing the identity. After the identity is confirmed, we will then have to notify the suspect’s immediate family.
The autopsy on the suspect was scheduled to take place today at 10:00 a.m. in Madison.
We do know that the vehicle that the suspect was driving at the time of the traffic stop was stolen from the State of Wyoming.
As more information becomes available it will be provided to you by way of a press release. When we find it necessary to hold another press conference we will notify you of the date, time and location.
This is a traumatic set of circumstances for Officer Kenworthy and his family. Please keep them, the other officers and all of the emergency personnel in your thoughts. They are often called upon to put themselves in harm’s way to protect our community.
Wesley D. Revels
Chief of Police 608-374-7403 4-23-11
Tomah Police Department
805 Superior Ave.
Tomah, WI 54660
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