Hours-Long Standoff Results In Officer-Involved Shootings, I-94 Closure

Incident Kept Interstate Closed For Several Hours In Waukesha County

Police line tape
Tony Webster (CC-BY)

Authorities say an hours-long standoff involving a minivan on an Interstate 94 overpass in Waukesha County resulted in officer-involved shootings.

The standoff began with a state Department of Natural Resources warden pursuing a stolen vehicle and ended hours later with two suspects injured and the Waukesha County Sheriff’s police dog stabbed. I-94 was closed until 6 a.m. Wednesday. Highway 67 in Oconomowoc will remain closed until early afternoon Wednesday.

“This was a very serious situation that posed a significant danger to the community,” Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson said during a press conference Wednesday. “We needed to make sure people did not enter the dangerous situation.”

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Law enforcement agencies were asked to assist a DNR warden who was actively pursuing a stolen van in the Town of Eagle around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

The warden, who is a sworn law enforcement officer but has not been identified, deflated the van’s tires but the driver would not surrender, Severson said.

The male driver pointed a firearm at deputies, Severson said. Deputies fired, but the man again refused to surrender, Severson said.

The driver, who has also not been identified, reportedly called Waukesha County dispatch and asked to speak to a negotiator. He told them there was a woman in the van and he was pointing the gun at her.

Tactical officers surrounded the minivan on the Highway 67 overpass in Oconomowoc during the negotiations.

“After five hours of negotiations, tactical gas was deployed,” Severson said. “The suspect fled with the woman at gunpoint. Two tactical officers fired at the man, striking him multiple times. The woman ran to I-94 but would not surrender.”

Severson said the woman struggled as she was taken into custody. During the struggle, the police dog, Justice, was stabbed by the female, Severson said. Justice was treated and released.

The male driver was treated at a Waukesha County hospital and is in critical condition. The female was treated and is in stable condition.

The sheriff’s office is not releasing the names of the two because they have not yet been charged.

A Milwaukee-area woman named Kalin Sunde was live streaming parts of the standoff on Facebook from inside of the minivan. The website, Heavy.com, first reported Sunde’s post.

Severson said the department will not release more details until all witnesses are interviewed.

The state Department of Justice is investigating the incident and the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the officer-involved shootings.

Editor’s note: this story has been updated with original reporting from WPR.