State trooper, bank robbery suspect shot & killed in exchange of gunfire

FOND DU LAC (WITI) -- Fond du Lac police say a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper was shot and killed on Tuesday evening, March 24th as he was following a vehicle matching the description of a suspect vehicle connected to a bank robbery. The Wisconsin Professional Police Association has identified the State Trooper as Trevor Casper from Kiel, Wisconsin.

Late Tuesday, Marinette County Sheriff's officials connected the suspect in the Fond du Lac shooting with a bank robbery in Wausaukee that occurred earlier Tuesday. Additionally, officials in Marinette believe the suspect may have shot and killed a man in his 60s after he fled from the bank. The bank robbery suspect was killed in Fond du Lac during an exchange of gunfire with the trooper.

This all began around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday. That's when the Marinette County Sheriff's Office was notified that a lone male had entered the State Bank of Florence in the Village of Wausaukee.

The man displayed a handgun and fired one round before robbing the bank of cash.

The suspect then fled the bank in a stolen bank employee's vehicle.

Sheriff's officials responded to the bank, and were then actively involved in looking for the suspect and the stolen vehicle.

Just after 2:30 p.m., another call came in to the Marinette County Sheriff's Office regarding a male victim found along Jermac Road -- just east of Wausaukee near a pickup truck that was still running. That man, believed to be in his 60s, was found to be deceased.

Officials searched the area and located the stolen vehicle taken from the bank.

Investigators believe the bank robbery suspect fled from that scene in another vehicle, and may have encountered the man in his 60s and shot him.

Eventually, the suspect and vehicle information was learned and relayed to law enforcement officials. It was soon learned that the suspect and vehicle were spotted in Fond du Lac by a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper. The suspect exchanged gunfire with the trooper -- and both were killed.

The shooting happened around 5:30 p.m. in the 100 block of N. Berger Parkway in Fond du Lac.

Police say they are not searching for any additional suspects -- and the public is not in danger.

" We extend our sincerest apologies to the trooper's family, and the entire Wisconsin State Patrol family," Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb said.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation -- the agency that investigates officer-involved shooting incidents per a new state law is leading this investigation.

A DOJ spokeswoman issued a statement to FOX6 News late Tuesday. It reads as follows:

"The Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating several crimes that occurred (Tuesday) in Marinette County and in the city of Fond du Lac, including the shooting death of a Wisconsin State Trooper.

We cannot confirm at this time definitively how these crimes fit together but investigators are working to provide an accurate timeline of events. We do not believe there is any danger to the community nor that there are additional suspects at large.

We are releasing few details this evening, as the Department of Justice is working with law enforcement from Marinette County, the city of Fond du Lac, the FBI and the Wisconsin State Patrol, to determine what happened.

At 5:30 p.m., a Wisconsin State Trooper was following a suspect vehicle that matched the description of the bank robbery suspect. There was contact made and there was an exchange of gunfire during which the Trooper and the suspect were both killed.

Attorney General Brad Schimel: "We at the DOJ join the Wisconsin law enforcement community and all the citizens of the state in mourning the loss of the Wisconsin State Trooper who died in the line of duty trying to keep our citizens safe. I ask for your prayers for this officer and his family."

Law enforcement officials were gathered in the 100 block of N. Berger Tuesday evening, and near a Pick 'n Save store on Highway 41 at Highway 23 in Fond du Lac.

Tuesday's death of a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper came as family members and loved ones marked the four-year anniversary of the shooting death of Fond du Lac police officer Craig Birkholz. Birkholz was killed during a six-hour standoff back in 2011. Another officer and his K9 were also shot, but they survived.

The 30-year-old shooter later turned the gun on himself.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.