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2 police officers killed, suspect dead in shootout in Barron County, Wisconsin, DOJ says

One Chetek Police Officer and one Cameron Police Officer were killed while exchanging gunfire with a suspect in Cameron, Barron County on Saturday, Wisconsin Department of Justice says
Posted at 9:48 PM, Apr 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-10 14:08:56-04

CITY OF BARRON, Wis. — A suspect killed two police officers during a shootout at a traffic stop before dying at a hospital in Barron County in northwestern Wisconsin on Saturday, officials said.

  • Happening today: A procession was held for the two fallen officers as they are transported from the city of Barron, Wisconsin to Minnesota. Following an autopsy with a medical examiner's office there, the fallen officers will return to Wisconsin.
  • TMJ4 News has a crew in Barron County, Wisconsin and will be providing updates online and on television.
VIDEO: Funeral procession for fallen Wisconsin police officers

What we know: Two Wisconsin police officers shot and killed during traffic stop

The shootout happened around 3:38 p.m. in the village of Cameron, about 95 miles east of Minneapolis, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

It began when an officer with the Chetek Police Department conducted a traffic stop, the DOJ said. During the traffic stop, gunfire was exchanged between someone in a vehicle and the responding officer or officers.

Following the shooting, one Chetek Police Officer and one Cameron Police Officer were pronounced dead at the scene of the incident. The person who exchanged gunfire with law enforcement was brought to a hospital, where they died, according to the DOJ. No other specifics were released. Authorities have not identified the officers or suspect.

The DOJ's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is leading this investigation, and is being assisted by numerous local and state law enforcement agencies, according to a news release on Saturday.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a statement Monday, saying:

"Kathy and I join the people of Wisconsin in offering our sincerest condolences to the loved ones, friends, and colleagues of Emily Breidenbach of the Chetek Police Department and Hunter Scheel of the Cameron Police Department, who were killed in the line of duty over the weekend.

I will sign Executive Orders lowering the U.S. and Wisconsin flags to half-staff across the state in honor of Officer Breidenbach and Officer Scheel once funeral arrangements have been announced as we continue to keep these officers and their families in our hearts and prayers."

So did Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul:

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss today of two officers. I am thinking of their families and the Chetek and Cameron Police Departments at this incredibly difficult time."

Community mourns after 2 officers killed

By Kaylee Staral, April 9, 2023

Community mourns after officers killed

On Sunday, a memorial started growing outside of the Chetek Police Department. Dozens of people showed up with flowers, candles, and stuffed animals to honor the fallen officer from Chetek. Down the road in Cameron, another memorial was taking shape in front of their police station.

Tammy Dunham has lived in Chetek for three years. She came to pay her respects to an officer that once had her back.

“I had a problem one time and [they] came and helped me out,” Durham explained.

Many others passing by the memorial said they personally knew the fallen hero from Chetek, sharing special memories of them. Chetek Mayor Jeff Martin grew up with that officer.

“This officer - very involved in our schools. It’s going to be a really tough week for Chetek kids,” Martin said.

Chetek is a community of just over 2,000 people.

“We’re a really tight-knit community,” Martin said. “Things happen in places, but they don’t happen here.”

Other community members agreed, saying these kinds of tragedies don’t happen often in Barron County. Many residents told me they are now leaning on each other for support.

“In times like this, people band together, they stick tighter, and we get through,” Martin said.

The day was spent remembering the fallen heroes and making a call to action.

‘Hopefully, we can just love each other,” Dunham cried. “This stuff shouldn’t be happening.”

Officers killed in the line of duty in Wisconsin:

Peter Jerving
Peter Jerving

According to the Officer Down Memorial page, 1 officer has died in the line of duty so far in 2023 in Wisconsin: Milwaukee Police Officer Peter Jerving.

Milwaukee Police Officer Peter Jerving died after trying to arrest the suspect of an armed robbery. Police say Officer Jerving and his partner were working on the city's far north side when their suspect, 19-year-old Terrell I. Thompson, drove away.

Thompson was seen again on the city's south side near 14th and Cleveland. There was a foot chase and a struggle. During the struggle, both Officer Jerving and Thompson were shot. The suspect died at the scene. Officer Jerving later died at Froedtert Hospital.

Officer Jerving, a lifelong Milwaukee resident, was 37 years old and had served on the Milwaukee Police Department for four years. Last year, he received an MPD Lifesaving Award for heroically providing life-saving care to a shooting victim "during extremely dangerous conditions."

Zero officers died in the line of duty in Wisconsin in 2022, according to the Officer Down Memorial page.

In fact, the last time a police officer died in the line of duty in Wisconsin before this year was Milwaukee Officer Matthew Rittner in 2019, who was shot and killed after executing a search warrant on the city's south side.

In the last five years, six Wisconsin officers have lost their lives in the line of duty. Of those, four were from Milwaukee.

Nationally, so far this year, the Officer Down Memorial page says 25 officers have been killed in the line of duty.

Watch Peter Jerving's funeral service:

Watch funeral service for fallen officer Peter Jerving

Reaction to Barron County incident on social media:

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