Wausau police shoot, kill armed domestic disturbance suspect; DCI investigatingSubmitted: 05/01/2016
WAUSAU - A Wausau police officer shot and killed a man armed with a knife Saturday night.

The shooting happened at an apartment complex in the 700 block of Gilbert Street around 10:20 p.m.  Officers were first called to a domestic disturbance about an hour before the shooting.  According to a Wausau PD press release, officers found probable cause to arrest an adult male for his role in that disturbance.

Police tracked the suspect to the apartments on Gilbert Street.  Officers found the man outside, but the suspect went inside the building.  When police tried to arrest him the man armed himself with a knife.  A Wausau police officer shot the man.  Police tried to keep him alive, but the man died at the scene.

During a press conference Sunday morning, Wausau Police Captain Matt Barnes said the officer fired multiple shots. Police would not identify the suspect or the officer involved. Barnes called the domestic disturbance "an isolated incident" and added there's no threat to the public.

Based on state law, an outside agency must handle all officer-involved shooting investigations.  Wausau police chose the Department of Criminal Investigations to handle the investigation. The officer who shot the suspect was not injured, but has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure.

"It is too early to offer additional comments or information about the investigation at this time," DOJ Public Affairs Director Johnny Koremenos told Newswatch 12 via email Sunday morning.  "I will offer additional information if/when it is available," Koremenos added.

When asked the race of the suspect, Barnes said he could not release that info at this time, but added "I don't know that it matters. He's a person."

Barnes praised the community for supporting Wausau police.  He asked for patience as the state investigates.

Neighbors told Newswatch 12's Stephanie Haines they heard several shots.  Their reports range between two to four shots.  The apartment complex landlord told Newswatch 12 over the phone it's unclear if the suspect actually lived in the apartments or if he was just visiting.

This is the second officer-involved shooting in Wausau in the last nine months. Police shot and injured a burglary suspect at a home on South 1st Avenue August 22nd, 2015. Officer Shawn Fritsch, who shot 34-year-old Adam Radek was placed on leave after that incident. Radek survived the shooting.

DCI investigated that shooting. In November 2015, the Marathon County District Attorney announced there would be no charges filed against Officer Fritsch. Radek faces drug and felon in possession of a firearm felonies following that incident.  Radek's case is still pending.

Newswatch 12's Stephanie Haines was at Sunday morning's press conference and will continue to provide updates throughout the day. You can view our full report Sunday at 10 p.m. on WJFW-TV.

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Related Content: No charges against Wausau officer after August shooting

Story By: Newswatch 12 News Team

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MINOCQUA - You know summer in the Northwoods will soon be here when seasonal businesses start opening up again.

Wildwood Wildlife Park opened up Saturday in Minocqua.

Hundreds of people rushed to the gate today to see all different types of animals, some local and some exotic.

"We are so busy today but it's a beautiful day to come out to Wildwood," said the park's director Judy Domaszek. "This is one of our baby aoudads, it's an African sheep, and as you can see in the background there are many people busy playing with the baby goats, and the sheep and the pigs and the tortoises, and they're just enjoying their day."

On Saturday the park had a giraffe feeding.

Workers also have been renovating and expanding the park.

The park has many new animals on the way, including some baby animals that were born there.

"The mouflon sheep are new, we've got some new reptiles, we have some new babies that we're going to have down in the nursery in a little while," Domaszek said. "We actually had a baby badger born here at the zoo. And we have a baby kangaroo. Those guys are all coming down when it's safe to come down."

Wildwood is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then after Memorial Day the park stays open till 5:30 p.m. for the summer. 

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NORTHWOODS - Prescription drugs play an important role in our health.

They help us recover if we're sick, cope if we have a chronic condition and help manage pain.

But those drugs can expire or just stay in the back of our medicine cabinets for months or years.

And if those drugs get into the wrong hands—such as toddlers or abusers—that's a problem.

That's why many local police and sheriff's departments participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program.

It's run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Saturday was National Take-Back Day.

"We're keeping the controlled substances in the hands they're supposed to be in, especially with the pill epidemic now, it's important that these stay out of the hands of people that are abusing them," said Minocqua Police Officer Matthew Tate. 

Several area police departments hosted drop-offs Saturday. 

You can drop off prescription or over-the-counter pills, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials and pet medications. You cannot bring in inhalers or aerosol cans, and you cannot drop off illegal drugs or needles.

All the drugs are brought to the state Department of Justice where they will be incinerated.

That's better than just flushing them or throwing them out in the trash.

"It's very important that it's not getting into our ground water is the main thing," Tate said. "We just don't want people dumping them in toilets or in their garbage."

If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of safely, don't worry if you missed Saturday's opportunity. Many area police stations have drug drop-off bins in their lobbies, so you can drop them off any time of the year.

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ADAMS COUNTY - Two men died in a car crash near the Wisconsin Dells Saturday afternoon according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Police got a call around 2 p.m. about a two-car crash on County Road B north of State Highway 23 in Adams County.

A 65-year-old was driving and a 72-year-old was in the front passenger seat. Both those men died at the scene. They were both from Oxford, Wisconsin.

Driving the other car was a 24-year-old man from the Wisconsin Dells. He was taken to a hospital but is expected to survive.

Wisconsin State Patrol is still investigating. The names will not be released until the families are notified. 

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - We now know who were the three people killed during Wednesday's double-murder suicide in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Wisconsin Rapids Police Department says  36-year-old Justin Bohn of Wisconsin Rapids shot and killed his 5-year-old daughter, Paige, and his 3-year-old son, Devon.

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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/29/2016

- Local schools have stepped up to show their support for the Antigo community after last weekend's prom shooting. We'll show you what that effort looks like at Lakeland.

- Plus, a local greenhouse that was destroyed by a tornado in 2011 and was rebuilt is celebrating it's20th anniversary. We'll take you to the celebration.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - Large machinery moved north and parking spots disappeared on Brown Street in Rhinelander this week.  The city's $9.8 million downtown reconstruction project continued its push, closing down Brown Street from Davenport to Rives Monday.

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Just over a week ago more than 10 different agencies rushed out to rural western Oneida County to deal with a man threatening to blow up his house.

When crews got there, 60-year-old Kenneth Welsh was sitting on his porch with a long gun. He held up police up in a standoff for the next three hours.

Last week he was charged with attempted first-degree homicide along with other felonies.

Welsh appeared in court Friday to hear the judge's decision regarding whether the prosecution has presented enough evidence to move forward with the case against him.

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