DA clears officers in Appleton shooting
- Associated Press
- April 18, 2014 - 10:00 AM
APPLETON, Wis. — Two Appleton police officers were justified in shooting a robbery suspect, officials said.
Green Bay police investigated the April 10th shooting of a 22-year-old man who they said robbed an Appleton gas station armed with a non-lethal Airsoft gun. The man survived the shooting, Post-Crescent Media (http://post.cr/1kIcE1a ) reported Friday. Police would not comment on his condition.
Green Bay Police Capt. Todd Thomas says the man apparently was suicidal.
"The suspect had spoken to people in the past about committing suicide and said if he ever committed suicide he would do so by having officers shoot him," Thomas said.
The Airsoft gun appeared to be a lethal weapon, said Appleton Police Chief Pete Helein. Airsoft guns are replicas of real guns and usually shoot plastic pellets.
"It is impossible for anyone, including a law enforcement officer, to recognize the difference," Helein said. "These are dynamic situations where an officer is recognizing, seeing, hearing, processing that as it's occurring and taking an immediate action to stop what they believe to be a lethal threat directed at them or the rest of the community."
Based on the Green Bay police investigation, Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider said her office will not file charges against the two officers, Sgt. Greg Pieper and Officer Brandon Edwards. The officers remained on paid leave while Appleton police conducted an internal investigation into whether they followed department procedures.
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