TOWN OF GLENWOOD (St. Croix County), Wis. (WSCM) – A deputy with the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office was killed Saturday evening.
Deputy Kaitie Leising, 29, was shot and killed after investigating a report of a vehicle that had gone into the ditch because of a potential drunk driver, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.
According to a release, at 6:15 p.m., the deputy arrived on scene to investigate. Another vehicle with multiple people had stopped to help the driver of the vehicle that had gone in the ditch, 34-year-old Jeremiah D. Johnson. Johnson refused to do a field sobriety test, and after eight minutes of talking, shot Leising with a handgun. Leising fired three shots in return, but none of them hit Johnson before he fled into the woods.
Officials said the people in the vehicle who had stopped to help Johnson tried to save Leising. She was taken to a hospital, where she died. Law enforcement began searching the woods, and about an hour after the shooting, an officer saw Johnson, heard a gunshot, and saw Johnson fall to the ground. No other gunshots were fired during the search. A handgun was found near Johnson. Officials said there is no threat to the communities near the shooting.
The shooting, which was recorded on body cameras worn by law enforcement, happened in the Town of Glenwood in St. Croix County, roughly 40 miles east of St. Paul, Minn. and 35 miles northwest of Eau Claire, Wis.
Deputy Leising had about three years of law enforcement experience, according to the DOJ. The St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office said Leising worked in the department since 2022, and worked in the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office in South Dakota for two years prior to that.
“Our love and condolences go out to the family of Kaitie Leising and all those with whom she service,” Scott Knudson, St. Croix County Sheriff, said. “We, as a law enforcement family, will do everything possible to continue to provide support and comfort to her family.”
“We will miss her infectious smile and personality,” Knudson said. “She will be missed by all she touched.”
The Sheriff’s Office said that funeral arrangements are being made and no other information will be released at this time. Leising’s body will be taken from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in Minnesota to a funeral home with a law enforcement procession.
The DOJ is investigating the shooting along with the Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin State Crime Lab and neighboring law enforcement agencies. The results of the investigation will be sent to the St. Croix County District Attorney’s Office.
UPDATE 3:17 p.m. 5/7/2023: This story has been updated with the names of the people involved and other details released by the Department of Justice