Fatal shooting of armed man outside Milwaukee VA ruled justified

A public records request has provided new details about a fatal officer-involved shooting that happened outside the Milwaukee VA Medical Center in July.

Joseph Denton, 35, died at the hospital after being shot by an officer in what has been ruled a justified shooting.

Previously, little information had been released about what happened just outside the emergency room doors. Denton's family called FOX6 News, frustrated that they did not know more.

Surveillance video from the night of the incident shows an altercation. From behind a bush, a man appears with a shotgun on July 6 a little after 8:30 p.m.

Surveillance video of the incidents leading up to the fatal shooting of Joseph Denton, an armed man outside of the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, by police on July 6, 2020.

Surveillance video of the incidents leading up to the fatal shooting of Joseph Denton, an armed man outside of the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, by police on July 6, 2020.

The footage shows what would be the last moments of Denton's life. A different angle from above shows multiple officers surrounding him.

Denton would continue to walk toward the front entrance, shotgun in hand. Officers would soon open fire, striking Denton twice and killing him.

Surveillance video of the incidents leading up to the fatal shooting of Joseph Denton, an armed man outside of the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, by police on July 6, 2020.

Surveillance video of the incidents leading up to the fatal shooting of Joseph Denton, an armed man outside of the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, by police on July 6, 2020.

The footage does not have sound, but police reports say that multiple witnesses heard officers ask Denton to put down his weapon for several minutes before shots were fired.

An officer reported hearing Denton yell "I'm going to kill you."

The records released Friday also include a letter from Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm. That letter ruled the shooting justified.

In part, the letter read: "It is only reasonable to conclude that Mr. Denton had decided not to allow a peaceful resolution for reasons that will never be fully understood. This is a tragic and fortunately rare circumstance, in my opinion, that an individual decided to end his life by requiring law enforcement to use deadly force against him."

Police said Denton was not a veteran. Authorities tried to look through his phone to see if it had any clues as to why he went to the VA that night, but they were unable to get through the security lock.

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