Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Review board clears deputies in shooting

St. Croix County Sheriff Dennis Hillstead announced that a shooting review board, which included law officers from New Richmond and Polk County, determined that deputies Ryan Kelly and Kristopher Stewart followed all policies and procedures in the fatal shooting incident of a man in rural Hammond Feb. 23.

Stewart is an 11-year veteran of the sheriff's department, including eight years as a patrol officer. Kelly joined the jail staff in May 2006 and has been in training as a patrol officer since January.

"Each of the officers has been provided with counseling services," said Hillstead. "It's a tragic incident, tragic for the victim and his family and tragic for the deputies and their families," he said. "It's very stressful and will continue to be."

Jacob Lee Sperl, 22, died as a result of gunshot wounds following a confrontation with the deputies. Sperl, who had reportedly made suicidal threats, pointed a loaded shotgun at the two officers outside his rural Hammond home when the deputies confronted him.