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St. Croix County (WQOW) - Law enforcement is a dangerous job, but what happened this weekend has officers even more concerned about their safety. There were two standoffs over the weekend. In one of those, the suspect was shot and killed by law enforcement. Saturday night, around 7:30, St. Croix County deputies responded to a call about a man who was armed and possibly suicidal in a home in the town of Eau Galle.
Chief Deputy Scott Knudson says a woman had called the sheriff's department, after her husband, Patrick McDonnell, had come home drunk and told them to get out. The woman and their two kids left the house, and the man allegedly fired a round into the air. No one was hit.
The SWAT team was called out, and as they were on their way, officers set up a perimeter around the house. McDonnell came out of the house a short time later, armed with a long gun and two handguns, and allegedly fired at them. One round hit a marked squad car, but no law enforcement personnel were injured. The St. Croix County sheriff says three deputies returned fire, killing McDonnell. He was in his 50's. Those deputies are now on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure following a shooting in which an officer was involved. The investigation is now being handled by the pierce county sheriff's department and the Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation. The St. Croix County chief deputy says the situation could have gotten a lot worse, if the woman and her kids hadn't gotten out of the house in time.
"This could have been a tragedy on so many different fronts, so we're glad that nobody else was injured or killed in this," says Chief Deputy Scott Knudson.
Knudson says it has been reported that the McDonnell and his wife were in the process of getting a divorce.
Now this is the second time a swat team has been called out this weekend in western Wisconsin. Friday night, the Eau Claire County SWAT team responded to a reported hostage situation in the village of Fairchild. A caller had reported a domestic dispute in a trailer park, where a 19-year-old man had taken his 23-year-old girlfriend inside a trailer home at knifepoint. Eventually, the two walked out of the trailer and were taken into custody peacefully. Several charges are expected to be filed tomorrow. Law enforcement says these types of situations are unfortunately becoming more commonplace.
"You know it seems we're having an uptick in critical incidents that our officers are involved in, but I'm not sure what to attribute that to, if it's economic situations. There just seems to be a lot going on right now that our officers are having to handle each shift," says Knudson.
Press Release from the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office: On Saturday, September 22, 2012 at 7:21 pm, deputies were dispatched to 2648 Boston Road, Eau Galle Township, St. Croix County Wisconsin for a report of an armed and possibly suicidal man with a gun.
Law enforcement personnel arrived on scene and secured the area. At 9:09 pm, the subject, who was armed with three firearms, exited the residence and confronted officers who were at the end of his driveway. The subject fired at least two shots at the officers. Three deputies returned fire, fatally injuring the subject.
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