Grant County Officer involved in death investigation

Millville shooting

The site of this morning’s police shooting.  Police would not release information on which house was involved, but it’s along the 14000 series of fire markers on Millville Hollow Road, near Millville. The Department of Criminal Investigation crime lab bus can be seen in the foreground. (Photo by Dave Collins, MWNews)

Update - September 12th, Grant Co. Sheriff Nate Dreckman advises that the DOJ investigation might take another couple of weeks.  Then, the results will be forwarded to the Grant County AG for review.  After that process a report will be released.
Update - The Name of the deceased suspect is
45-year-old Roger B. Helgerson, Jr., who succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.  The name of the officer involved in the shooting has not been released.
Update
- On September 1, 2017 at approximately 7:08 a.m., two deputies from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office were parked on Millville Hollow Road attempting to apprehend a male subject who had multiple warrants for his arrest.
   When contact was attempted, the subject fled from the deputies and led them on a short pursuit. At the termination of the pursuit there was a confrontation between the deputy and the subject, who had armed himself with a weapon. There were shots fired causing the death of the male victim. The deputy was uninjured.
   The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), was requested by the Grant County Sheriff’s Office, to conduct the criminal investigation into this officer involved death (OID). The involved deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation, as the Grant County Sheriff’s Office will be conducting an internal investigation as well.
   The Wisconsin DOJ-led investigation of this incident has been a collaboration between DCI, the Wisconsin State Patrol, and the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory. The Grant County Sheriff’s Office has been fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation.
DCI is continuing to collect evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Grant County District Attorney when the investigation concludes.
   An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning on the male victim and further information will be released once this is complete.
The Grant County Sheriff’s Office was also assisted by the Fennimore Police Department, Boscobel Police Department, the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office, Platteville Police Department and the University of Wisconsin Platteville Police Department.  No additional details are available at this time.

 

 GRANT COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY

GRANT COUNTY COURTHOUSE

130 WEST MAPLE STREET

LANCASTER, WI 53813

Lisa A. Riniker, Grant County District Attorney

Anthony J. Pozorski, Sr. Assistant District Attorney

Phone: 608 723-4237

Fax: 608 723-4382

October 18, 2017

Special Agent James C. Holmes

Special Agent Rafael De LaRosa

Wisconsin Department of Justice

Division of Criminal Investigation

17 W. Main St. P.O. Box 7857

Madison, WI 53707

RE: Officer Involved Death of Roger B. Helgerson, Jr.

DA Case No. 2017GT001091

Dear Special Agents Holmes and De La Rosa,

On September 1, 2017, Roger B. Helgerson Jr. died as a result of a gunshot wound inflicted by Grant County Deputy Andrew Smith. The Department of Criminal Investigation for the State of Wisconsin was called to investigate the officer-involved death. You transmitted your case file to me and I have now had an opportunity to thoroughly review that information.

My determination in this officer-involved death is that Deputy Smith acted within the confines of the law when using deadly force upon Mr. Helgerson. Just prior to encountering Mr. Helgerson on September 1, 2017, Deputy Smith received information from the Grant County Sheriff’s Department that Mr. Helgerson had made reference to having a shootout with law enforcement in reference to a foreclosure action. Having that knowledge, Deputy Smith had his department issued rifle ready for use. After a short vehicle pursuit of Mr. Helgerson, Deputy Smith positioned himself behind his opened squad car door and observed Mr. Helgerson getting out of his vehicle. Deputy Smith indicated that he observed Mr. Helgerson to have a gun and that Mr. Helgerson pointed the long gun at Deputy Smith causing him to use deadly force against Mr. Helgerson.

Deputy Smith’s assertions are corroborated by his squad car video. While overgrown vegetation and the position of the squad car camera make it difficult to see, there is a point in the video where there is an object in Mr. Helgerson’s right hand positioned next to his body which is pointed in the area where Deputy Smith would be.

Additionally, upon inspection of Mr. Helgerson, it was noted that a Glenfield MOD 75 Marlin .22 caliber long rifle was within his grasp located between Mr. Helgerson’s right arm and body. It is also noted that there was one bullet in the chamber and several unfired cartridges either on Mr. Helgerson’s person or in the immediate area of his body.

Given Mr. Helgerson’s act of pointing a firearm, Deputy Smith was entitled to use deadly force to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to either himself or Deputy Nemitz who was also on the scene. Because of that, criminal charges will not be filed against Deputy Smith.

      • Very truly yours,
      • Lisa A. Riniker
      • LAR:Bjc

        CC: Nate Dreckman via email only

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