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Racine police fatally shoot person they say shot at officers following a traffic stop

Wisconsin Department of Justice now leading investigation

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Racine police officers shot a person after he allegedly fled from police on the morning of Monday, May 21, 2023. Evan Casey/WPR 

Racine Police officers fatally shot a man early Monday morning following a traffic stop after police said the man opened fire on officers first.

Racine Assistant Police Chief Alex Ramirez said the man was wanted following a “domestic incident where shots were fired” in Mount Pleasant on Sunday night.

After Racine police officers pulled the vehicle over in the city of Racine, Ramirez said the man got out and fled the scene, hiding in tall grass near Clayton Park in the city. At around 12:30 a.m., the police officers gave orders for the person to come out of the tall grass, but the person refused, according to Ramirez.

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“As officers approached the subject, the subject shot at officers. Officers exchanged gunfire with the subject. As a result, the subject was fatally wounded,” Ramirez said during a press conference Monday afternoon.

No police officers were injured during the incident. The Division of Criminal Investigation with the Wisconsin Department of Justice is now leading the investigation.

Officers from the Mount Pleasant Police Department and the Racine Police Department are on administrative leave. The Department of Justice and Ramirez did not identify the officers involved or give any details about the person who was killed.

Ramirez said the incident was captured on body worn camera, dashboard cameras and a drone camera. It’s not yet clear when that footage will be released to the public.

The Racine County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin State Crime Lab and a Division of Criminal Investigation Crime Response Specialist are also helping the Division of Criminal Investigation with the investigation.

Kenneth Sinsun, who lives adjacent to Clayton Park, was in his backyard when the incident began. He said police came through his yard to get to the park and yelled commands at the suspect for over an hour.

“It was pretty traumatic. It had to be 30 shots or more,” Sinsun said. “And that was it… you didn’t hear nothing from dude no more.”

Sinsun said he moved to Racine from Waukegan, Illinois, last year to get away from similar incidents he experienced while living there.

“Gunshots were just flying around,” Sinsun said of the incident. “Good thing none came into my house or nobody else got hit.”

Last year, Racine police officer Zachary Brenner shot and killed Da’shontay King following a traffic stop in the city. Brenner faced no charge for that incident, after a report from the Wisconsin Department of Justice said King lunged toward a gun he dropped while fleeing Brenner.

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