Sheriff: Black Wisconsin man injured in arrest wasn't armed

A Black man whose family says authorities shot him five times during a violent arrest in Wisconsin's capital city this month apparently wasn't armed, a sheriff said Friday.

Authorities have refused to say whether officers shot Quadren Wilson, of Beaver Dam, while they were arresting him Feb. 3 on a drug violation in Madison. They have said he suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but they haven't described the nature of the injuries, including whether they were gunshot wounds.

Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett, whose office is leading the investigation, said in a statement Friday that two Justice Department agents, Mark Wagner and Nathan Peskie, fired their weapons during the arrest. He referred to it as an officer-involved shooting, but he didn't say whether either agent's rounds struck Wilson.

Barrett said his detectives haven't found any evidence that Wilson was armed, and that they were still interviewing everyone involved in the arrest as well as witnesses.

Wilson, 38, was released on extended supervision in February 2020 after serving a little more than a year in prison for second-degree reckless endangerment. The state Department of Corrections issued a warrant for him the morning he was arrested for violating the conditions of his release.

Wilson was wanted for allegedly dealing fentanyl and a fentanyl mixture that led to the death of a man who was found passed out in a McDonald’s bathroom in Blooming Grove last April, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Wilson was driving on the outskirts of Madison when officers from multiple jurisdictions slammed their vehicles into his car and opened fire on him as he sat behind the wheel, according to the sheriff's office and Wilson’s family. Wilson’s brother, Mane Morris, said authorities shot his brother five times in the back.

Wilson was charged Friday with dealing narcotics as a repeat offender. The criminal complaint doesn't offer any reasons why police from multiple agencies were involved in his arrest.

During a court appearance Friday, Wilson's attorney, Stephen Eisenberg, questioned why the drug charge was filed now and why the Dane County district attorney issued the charge rather than the Justice Department since its agents were involved in the arrest.