UPDATE: Wis. court: No damages in officer death

UPDATED Wednesday, September 11, 2013 --- 9:50 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A Wisconsin appeals court says a slain police officer's widow can't collect damages from the insurance company that covered his killer.

James Cruckson shot Fond du Lac Police Officer Craig Birkholz during a standoff at Cruckson's home in 2011. Cruckson ended up killing himself.

Birkholz's widow, Ashley Birkholz, filed a lawsuit seeking damages from Germantown Mutual, Cruckson's insurance company. Cruckson had a policy that covered damages he accidentally caused. A circuit judge ruled the policy doesn't extend to damages Cruckson intentionally caused.

She argued on appeal it was dark at the time of the shooting, Cruckson fired multiple shots and he had no reason to hurt officers. But the 2nd District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Cruckson's actions were clearly intentional.

Ashley Birkholz's attorney had no immediate comment.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Tuesday, May 10, 2011 --- 10:48 a.m.

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- A Fond du Lac police officer wounded in a March shooting that killed another officer is back at work.

Officer Ryan Williams was shot twice by a sexual assault suspect who killed another officer. The suspect committed suicide.

A bullet hit the abdomen of Williams' police dog, Grendel, while the dog was sitting in a squad car.

Williams says it's not emotionally difficult to be back and he's not afraid to enter a home again, although he will be cautious.

Williams says he's not sure how Grendel will react to live gunfire but he described him as a tough dog.

The Reporter in Fond du Lac reported (http://bit.ly/m3NE0N ) that Williams' first day back Monday included training with Grendel and planning trips to area schools that provided support as he recovered.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, April 4, 2011 --- 8:10 a.m.

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- The Fond du Lac police officer shot and wounded during a confrontation with a suspect is expected to speak publicly for the first time this week.

Officer Ryan Williams was critically injured by two gunshots to the chest March 20. His comrade, Officer Craig Birkholz, was killed by the gunman, who also took his own life.

Doctors have said Williams' life was spared because he wore two bullet-resistant vests.

The 33-year-old Williams is expected to appear at a press conference with police dog, Grendel, in Fond du Lac on Wednesday. Grendel was also injured.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED: Friday, March 26, 2011 --- 8:00 p.m.

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) -- Nate Lawler remembers fallen police officer Craig Birkholz as a good kid in high school -- and a hero in adulthood.

Lawler was one of hundreds who paid his respects Saturday to Birkholz. The Kenosha officer was shot and killed last week while on duty as a Fond du Lac police officer.

A freezing wind whipped while a parade of emergency vehicles crept by in a funeral procession. Men and women, in uniform and civilian clothes, saluted as his coffin passed.

Birkholz's death left the community devastated. The 28-year-old served tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, only to be killed in a shootout by a man who later committed suicide.

The Kenosha News say hundreds gathered for Birkholz's funeral Friday. They remembered him as a quiet leader who put others' needs before his own.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Friday, March 25, 2011 --- 6:25 p.m.

Wounded police officer released from hospital

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — The Fond du Lac police officer shot and wounded during a confrontation with a suspect has been released from the hospital.

Physicians at Theda Clark Medical Center say 33-year-old Ryan Williams made a "phenomenal" recovery. Williams was critically injured by two gunshots to the chest Sunday. His comrade, Officer Craig Birkholz, was killed by the gunman, who also took his own life. Birkholz's visitation is late Friday in Kenosha with his funeral set for Saturday.

Dr. Raymond Georgen says Williams' life was spared because he wore two bullet-resistant vests.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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UPDATED Friday, March 25, 2011 --- 8:25 a.m.

Wounded police officer's recovery progressing

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- The Fond du Lac police officer shot and wounded during a confrontation with a suspect has been moved out of intensive care.

Physicians at Theda Clark Medical Center say 33-year-old Ryan Williams "is doing phenomenal." Williams was critically injured by two gunshots to the chest last weekend. His comrade, Officer Craig Birkholz, was killed by the gunman, who also took his own life.

Doctors say Williams is off a ventilator, is eating on his own and is awake and alert. Dr. Raymond Georgen says Williams' life was spared because he wore two bullet-resistant vests.

The Fond du Lac Reporter says Williams' wife, Jenny, was able to bring their daughters, ages 1 and 2, to visit their dad in the hospital recently.

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The Fond du Lac Reporter's report can be found at: http://bit.ly/gfAPur

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Information from: The Reporter, http://www.fdlreporter.com

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Wednesday, March 23, 2011 --- 11:30 a.m.

Wounded Fond du Lac officer, K-9 are improving

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- A Fond du Lac police officer shot during a standoff that killed another officer is improving.

Police say Officer Ryan Williams has been upgraded to serious condition at a local hospital. Physicians say Williams is making remarkable progress in his recovery.

Police say James Cruckson shot and killed Officer Craig Birkholz and wounded Williams at his home last Sunday. Cruckson then shot and killed himself.

A police dog, Grendel, was also shot. He's in critical but stable condition and is improving.

Birkholz's funeral is Saturday in his hometown of Kenosha.

WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee reported his body was to be brought from Kenosha to Fond du Lac on Wednesday, where a prayer service was scheduled. Police and others were expected to line the streets for the procession in Fond du Lac.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 --- 5:54 p.m.

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- Funeral services are set for a Fond du Lac police officer gunned down during a weekend standoff.

A funeral Mass for Officer Craig Birkholz will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Kenosha. Burial will be held at Sunset Ridge Memorial Park.

Visitation for Birkholz will be held from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday at Holy Family Catholic Church in Fond du Lac, with a memorial service to follow. Both the visitation and memorial service are open to the public.

An additional visitation begins at 4 p.m. Friday at Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home in Kenosha. An officer lineup and tribute begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Police say James Cruckson shot and killed Birkholz and critically wounded Officer Ryan Williams at his home last Sunday. Cruckson then shot and killed himself.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, March 21, 2011 --- 3:10 p.m.

From the Governor's Office:
Governor Walker Orders Flags Lowered in Honor of Officer Craig Birkholz

Madison–Governor Walker today issued an Executive Order to lower flags to half-staff in honor of Fond du Lac Police Officer Craig Birkholz. Flags will fly at half-staff through Saturday, March 26.

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UPDATED Monday, March 21, 2011 --- 9:25 a.m.

Officer shot and wounded remains in ICU

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- The Fond du Lac officer shot and wounded by a gunman who killed another officer remained hospitalized in critical condition Monday.

Thirty-three-year-old Ryan Williams is in the intensive care unit at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah where he underwent surgery. Trauma medical director, Dr. Raymond Georgen, tells the Fond du Lac Reporter that Williams was shot once in the left shoulder and once in the right chest, just below the collarbone.

Police Chief Tony Barthuly says both Williams and the slain officer, 28-year-old Craig Birkholz, were wearing bullet-proof vests. Birkholz was struck in the upper chest in an area not covered by the vest.

Police say the gunman, James Cruckson, turned the gun on himself Sunday morning during a standoff with police.

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The Fond du Lac Reporter's report can be found at: http://bit.ly/hmxNG3

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Information from: The Reporter, http://www.fdlreporter.com

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Monday, March 21, 2011 --- 7:35 a.m.

Aunt: Slain officer always gave 110 percent

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- The aunt of the Fond du Lac police officer who lost his life in the line of duty says her nephew was focused on serving and protecting his community.

Twenty-eight-year-old Craig Birkholz was fatally shot and another officer was critically injured during a six-hour standoff at a suspect's house Sunday.

Birkholz's aunt, Patty Brown of Kenosha, says her nephew "always gave 110 percent" and was "exceptional young man." Brown says Birkholz aspired to join the FBI and saw his service as a police officer as a stepping stone to that goal.

The Fond du Lac Reporters says Birkholz joined the Army after graduating from Kenosha's Tremper High School. Then he joined the Army and served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Birkholz married in 2009.

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The Fond du Lac Reporter's report can be found at: http://bit.ly/gpZLSy

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Information from: The Reporter, http://www.fdlreporter.com

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, March 20, 2011 --- 5:10 p.m.

MADISON—Governor Scott Walker released the following statement today regarding the shooting of police officers in Fond du Lac.

“Wisconsin’s thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Officer Craig Birkholz. He made the ultimate sacrifice laying down his life while serving his community. While we may not have the words to comfort his loved ones, we assure them that Officer Birkholz's state and community are eternally grateful for his heroic service. We also pray for the recovery of his colleagues, Officers Ryan Williams and Zack Schultz , who were injured in the line of duty.”

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UPDATED Sunday, March 20, 2011 --- 4:37 p.m.

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- One Fond du Lac police officer was killed and another was critically injured when a man inside a home on the city's west side began firing.

Police Chief Tony Barthuly says 28-year-old Officer Craig Birkholz was shot in the upper chest by the suspect and killed. Officer Ryan Williams was shot twice in the chest and is in critical condition.

Barthuly says Williams likely would have died had he not been wearing a protective vest.

The Reporter of Fond du Lac says another officer was injured on the stairs in the home.

Authorities went to the house around 6 a.m. Sunday, and were fired upon by a man inside.

That man, 30-year-old James Cruckson, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found inside the house after a nearly 6-hour standoff.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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UPDATED Sunday, March 20, 2011 --- 4:31 p.m.

From our news partner, WLUK FOX 11 in Green Bay:

FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Breaking news from Fond du Lac where police say an officer was shot and killed in a standoff with an armed suspect.

Officers responded to a high-risk call at a home on the city's west side about 6 a.m. Sunday.

Fond du Lac police confirmed shots were fired on South Lincoln Avenue and said the suspect fired at officers shortly after they arrived on the scene.

Theda Clark hospital officials tell FOX 11 a second officer who was shot was flown by helicopter to Theda Clark, and is in critical condition.

As of 12:15 p.m., the police department confirmed officers had entered the house and the scene was secured.

They have since set up police tape around the home.

During a noon news conference, police issued a statement to say the streets are safe for residents.

Theda Clark hospital officials plan to hold a news conference on the officer's condition at 6 p.m.

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Posted Sunday, March 20, 2011 --- 1:35 p.m.

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) -- A Fond du Lac police officer has been shot in an early morning standoff with an armed suspect.

Officers responded to a high-risk call at a home on the city's west side about 6 a.m. Sunday. Police say a suspect fired at officers shortly after they arrived on the scene.

Fond du Lac Police Capt. Mat Mueller tells The Reporter of Fond du Lac that one officer was shot. Officials at Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah say the male officer is in critical condition.

Mueller did not release the officer's name.

Officials released a statement confirming there was a shooting involving police officers. The statement released before noon Sunday says the situation has not yet been resolved.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


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