Appleton officers cleared in fatal shooting

APPLETON, Wis. - Five Appleton police officers shot and killed an armed man outside his home on S. Matthias St. on May 7.

The Outagamie County prosecutor says the shooting was justified and the officers won't be charged.

Officers Nathan Hoffman, Brandon Schnese, Frank Wychgram, Tom Zieman and Sgt. Ryan Schroeder are cleared of all wrongdoing in that incident.

According to the district attorney’s office, all of them fired at least one shot at 50-year-old David Robinson who was armed with a shotgun.

Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis says that use of force was justified.  

"The law recognizes officers are forced to make split second judgments in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving," said Tempelis.

While Robinson’s gun was not loaded, police reports say he acted like it was, including pointing the gun at himself and officers.

“At that moment, officers were immediately concerned for their own life, the lives of each other, and the real possibility of Mr. Robinson discharging a round into the house across the street," said Tempelis. 

Tempelis said Robinson had a history of suicidal tendencies, in part, because of health issues and was upset with police because of a pending drug charge.

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, officers comforted each other, before Tempelis says they turned their attention to a grieving family.

“These officers truly lived up to our core values. This community is lucky to have such compassionate and courageous people serving them as police officers," said Chief Todd Thompson, Appleton Police. 

Police say they believe Robinson was drinking and possibly using drugs that day, but are waiting on the results of a toxicology report. 

The officers involved who have been on administrative assignment...Will return to their normal patrols soon.

NBC26 reached out to the Robinson family, but couldn't get in contact with them. 

The Robinsons have a memorial placed on their front steps for a man who threatened police, but also, a father and husband gone.

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