KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WFRV) – An outside investigation into the officer-involved shooting that hospitalized an Oshkosh man back in mid-September has concluded, deeming the officer’s use of force justified.
A release from the Appleton Police Department, which completed the investigation before turning it over to Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis for review, states that Sgt. Michael Frank’s “use of deadly force on September 13 was justified and no criminal charges will be issued.”
The incident, which took place in the 500 block of Diedrich Street on September 13, began when authorities were provided information about a 28-year-old man who was reportedly driving a stolen vehicle said to have two juvenile girls as occupants.
Officers were made aware that the driver had allegedly ‘eluded’ other officers on a high-speed chase on the night of September 12.
The following day, the Kaukauna Police Department was requested to assist with the incident from the Green Bay Police Department after receiving information that a juvenile runaway from the Green Bay area would be arriving at an address on Diedrich Street in a red stolen Pontiac Sunfire.
Based on the information provided, authorities made a plan to have the stolen vehicle pull into a garage stall at the residence, and then officers would make contact with the vehicle.
The release notes that after the vehicle entered the garage and turned its lights off, Sgt. Frank positioned his squad car behind the stolen vehicle and positioned himself at the threshold of the open overhead garage door.
Authorities say that within three seconds, the vehicle’s lights turned on and began to exit the garage at a ‘high rate of speed.’ Fearing for the safety of other officers as well as for himself, Sgt. Frank fired one round at the driver.
After the vehicle was deemed to no longer be a threat, Sgt. Frank and other officers immediately approached the vehicle, contacted the occupants inside, and began rendering aid to the driver who had been shot in the shoulder area.
It was also noted that at some point during the incident, Sgt. Frank’s arm and squad were hit by the stolen vehicle when it exited the garage. The driver was then taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Sgt. Frank was reasonable in his belief that he and others in the area were in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm when the operator refused to follow officer commands and accelerated the vehicle in reverse at a high rate of speed striking Sgt. Frank and risking the safety of others in the area. The entire incident from Sgt. Frank approaching the garage, to the operator of the vehicle accelerating out of the garage, happened within approximately three seconds. Fearing for his safety and the safety of others the video depicts Sgt. Frank firing one single round stopping the threat.Appleton Police Department
No further details were provided.