Video shows pursuit prior to fatal officer-involved shooting

The Jefferson County district attorney on Tuesday, Feb. 16 announced that officers were justified in the fatal shooting of Joseph Crawford last December.

Newly-released dashcam video shows the moments that led to authorities making the decision to fire shots in the incident, which began just after noon on Dec. 9.

Wisconsin State Patrol attempted to pull over a car for speeding on WIS-26 between Watertown and Johnson Creek. It stopped for a moment, but then sped off.

Speed limit signs indicating a 65 mph limit became a blur as speeds reached 100 mph. The suspect car passed others on the road, weaving in-and-out of traffic, before losing a tire near WIS-26 and CTH-Y.

Dashcam video of pursuit prior to officer-involved shooting of Joseph Crawford

Officers attempted to bring the pursuit to an end, deploying spike strips to no avail. One of the occupants waved a gun out of the suspect car.

"All units be advised, they are shooting at us -- they did shoot at me at 26th and B," an officer said.

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Eventually, the car pulled off near Highway 12 and crashed into a median. 

Officers drew their guns as the driver -- identified as Crawford -- casually walked away from the car, gun in hand.

Joseph Crawford, seen on dashcam video pointing a gun at another motorist

Crawford was seen walking toward another motorist who was pulled over on the side of the road. Crawford pointed his gun at them and pulled on the doors, trying to get in. Unable to, he turned toward troopers and pointed his gun.

Seven shots were fired. Crawford was killed.

Trooper David Heinisch, Trooper Keegan Williams, Trooper Alexander Polizzi

The Jefferson County district attorney said the incident was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, which concluded that the shooting was justified.

After the incident, Crawford was identified as a suspect in a bank robbery that happened in Monona earlier the same day. State troopers were reportedly not aware of that when they initiated the traffic stop.

No charges filed against officers in death of Joseph Crawford-Lamal

The Jefferson County district attorney announced the actions of law enforcement officers resulting in the death of Joseph Crawford-Lamal on Dec. 9, 2020 were lawful and reasonable acts of self-defense.