In the wake of an officer-involved shooting incident in the town of Franklin on Monday, Kewaunee County is rallying in support of the Sheriff’s Department.
The state Division of Criminal Investigation is reviewing the incident in which Tyler D. Whitmire of Luxemburg lost his life. An initial report from the DCI indicated Whitmire was threatening a woman and nearby residents in a confrontation along County Road AB south of Stangelville, when one of several responding officers fired a shot that killed the man.
The Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department posted this message on its Facebook page Wednesday afternoon:
The last few days have been stressful for the community as a whole. One of our deputies made a post on his personal page that (with his permission) we would like to share with everyone.
“They say every cloud has a silver lining. I’m not sure I buy into that, but I must say, the tragedy that happened last night involving some of my fellow officers has shown the true colors of many people around here. I have had a ton of people give me their best wishes for our department and ask to relay it to the officers involved. Some of those people wishing the best have been on the wrong side of the law more than once in their life too.
“We, as law enforcement officers, are very fortunate to have the public backing that we have in this area. In many areas of the U.S., an incident like this would bring out the worst in people, here it seems to have brought out the best. I believe that I can speak for our whole department when I say ‘thank you’ for the support and kind words. The officers involved need that more than many of you can imagine.
“I know a lot of you want more answers and details to what has happened. Please be patient as there is a lengthy process that needs to be followed in an incident like this. The State of Wisconsin DCI is investigating this incident, which is standard protocol for these types of cases. Any information released is going to be at their discretion. I hope that more details are made public soon too as it can help stop some of the rumors that are already flying around.”
During a Tuesday morning news conference, Sheriff Matt Joski emphasized the department’s willingness to work with the family and the DCI to answer questions about what happened.
“We respect their privacy, their need for full disclosure, and full awareness prior to anything going public, so I ask that everyone not only in the traditional media but also those on social media, please try to respect the deceased’s family, the officers involved and have sensitivity,” Joski said.