Washington County deputy 'justified' in fatal shooting of West Bend man

The Washington County District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday, March 17 that it has reviewed the independent police investigation relating to the fatal police shooting of Nicholas Pingel of West Bend by an on-duty Washington County sheriff’s deputy. After that review, the D.A.'s office officially cleared the deputy’s actions as justifiable.

Nicholas Pingel

Nicholas Pingel

On Feb. 3 in the Town of Kewaskum, law enforcement officials were called to Forest View Road following a 911 phone call from a resident reporting an individual who forced his way into the residence demanding the keys to a vehicle, DOJ officials said.

At the scene, the first arriving deputies encountered an armed man on Forest View Road.  

Law enforcement responds to Town of Kewaskum incident

A Washington County sheriff’s deputy and Pingel exchanged gunfire and Pingel was struck.

A perimeter was established and a drone located a subject matching Pingel's description a short distance north of the deputy's initial encounter. Officers approached and located Pingel dead from an apparent gunshot wound. A firearm was also located near him.

Law enforcement responds to Town of Kewaskum incident

In a post on the Washington County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, the district attorney determined the deputy involved in this incident was acting within the scope of the law by protecting himself and others when he used deadly force.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Get breaking news alerts in the FOX6 News app for iOS or Android

The deputy had been on administrative leave since the incident occurred and now has returned to duty this week.

Law enforcement responds to Town of Kewaskum incident

Statement of Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis

"The tragic sequence of events that afternoon has left a lasting impression on both our community and agency; I keep the families affected in my thoughts and prayers.

"Our deputy was placed in a situation that necessitated the use of deadly force in the course of his work to safeguard the community he took an oath to protect. This entire incident is a tragedy on many different levels. The fact that the district attorney determined the deputy’s actions were clearly necessary, justified and authorized under law, reaffirms the deputy stopped further victimization of innocent citizens that afternoon.

"My commitment to the citizens of Washington County has always been to be as transparent as possible without compromising the integrity of any investigation. We are now able to release some of the specific details of the officer-involved shooting that we previously were unable to publicly address during the independent investigation...

"Our office will conduct our own independent internal investigation and tactical debrief to determine what we could have improved on; we owe that to the community we serve. Having said that, all facts point to the unfortunate reality that the tragic outcome was dictated by the suspect rather than the law enforcement response. The deputy acted with courage and bravery. The actions he took were consistent with his training, and in accordance with the law, while facing extreme stress and danger. I welcome the deputy back to serve the citizens of Washington County."

Source: Multiple people shot inside Roundy’s Distribution Center in Oconomowoc

The Roundy’s Distribution Center in Oconomowoc is under lockdown.

Medical examiner called to scene of police pursuit near 92nd and Townsend

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office was called out to the area of 92nd and Townsend Wednesday morning, March 17.