Fundraiser supports Delafield, Hartland officers shot in line of duty
DELAFIELD, Wis. - Delafield and Hartland residents showed up in force for a benefit Sunday, Dec. 6 after two of their officers were shot in November.
Prosecutors say Nathanael Benton pulled the trigger on Nov. 6 -- wanted in Fargo, North Dakota for attempted murder.
According to a criminal complaint, around 1:40 a.m., officers from the Delafield and Hartland responded to a possible hit-and-run crash at the Holiday Inn in Delafield. There, officers made contact with Benton outside the hotel -- accompanied by a 29-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man, both from Warsaw, Indiana.
Upon officers meeting and speaking with Benton and the woman, Benton produced a handgun and fired multiple shots at the two uniformed police officers, prosecutors said, striking both of them.
Delafield Police Chief Erik Kehl
"During the course of that investigation, one of those people pulled a handgun, shot one of our officers and his partner from the Village of Hartland," said Delafield Police Chief Erik Kehl.
According to the complaint, body cameras show one officer performing a frisk for weapons on Benton just prior to the shooting. The video shows the officer standing to the left of Benton and the second officer standing about five to ten feet away. During the pat-down, Benton suddenly makes a motion with his right arm and immediately begins firing a weapon toward both officers at close range.
One officer was struck twice in the back and once in the hip. The other officer was struck in the leg. One officer fired back at Benton as he fled on foot.
"Our partner, he is doing extremely well," said Chief Kehl. "We expect him back in short order as soon as he is physically and mentally ready to be with us again.”
Benton was later arrested in Delafield.
One month later, on Sunday, the focus was supporting the officers injured in this incident.
"So we are splitting everything 50-50," said Megan Braatz, organizer of the fundraiser. "My original goal was $25,000, and prior to the event starting today, we had already doubled that goal. It hit close to home. My brother is also an officer, so I would hope that if this ever tragically happened, his community would rally together, as well.”
At the request of the host, press was not allowed inside the event, but pictures show the community backing the badge.
"So we have music, and T-shirts, and bracelets and items in the tent, and then indoors, we have over 200 raffle items and then we also have a running 50/50," said Braatz.
The Delafield police chief said the show of support goes a long way.
"It has been amazing," said Chief Kehl. "Cards we’ve been getting from all over the country, literally!”
The wounded officers were not in attendance for the event, instead, recovering at home.