The man killed last week in a confrontation with Kewaunee County sheriff’s deputies will be laid to rest Monday, as the family awaits answers from an independent investigation.
A funeral service for Tyler Whitmire is scheduled for 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Luxemburg, and he will be buried with full military rites in the church cemetery.
An initial report from the state Division of Criminal Investigation indicated Whitmire was threatening a woman and nearby residents in a confrontation Aug. 21 along County Road AB south of Stangelville, when one of several responding officers fired a shot that killed the man.
But family members including Whitmire’s wife of four months, Lilly, have taken to social media to dispute that account and say they will seek for justice for the U.S. Marine, a 2014 graduate of Luxemburg-Casco High School.
“He had the biggest heart, he was kind and gentle. He absolutely adored children. He was goofy and silly and everything I ever wanted,” Lilly Whitmire wrote in a Saturday morning post on Facebook that had been shared nearly 1,600 times as of Sunday night.
A military police officer with the Marines in Okinawa, Japan, Lilly said she was talking with Tyler on the phone during the incident: “… he stepped out of that car and the police started yelling demands. I then heard 4 to 5 shots. He told me he loved me over and over. And at the time I didn’t think it was real, I thought it was some joke. He was no killer.”
The DCI has offered no timeline for concluding its investigation and, as is routine in such cases, the agency will turn its investigative reports over to the Kewaunee County District Attorney, who will make the decision as to whether to file any charges in the case.
Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski has asked the media and the community to be cautious about unverified information and speculation while waiting for the DCI to do its work.
The involved deputy has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.