UPDATE: Review clears Madison police in fatal shooting

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email

UPDATED Thursday, June 12, 2014 --- 3:45 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- An internal police review has cleared Madison police who shot and killed an armed woman in her apartment last month.

The review found that officers Justin Bailey and Gary Pihlaja were justified in using deadly force, under the Madison Police Department's policy.

Earlier, the Dane County district attorney's office also cleared the two officers.

Authorities say 26-year-old Ashley DiPiazza was shot early on May 18 after she walked toward the officers while holding a gun to her head. DiPiazza had ignored commands to drop the weapon before officers fired.

Police had been called to the apartment on a domestic disturbance report.

Both officers remain on leave but will be allowed to return to their regular duties when they are ready.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, June 12, 2014 --- 10:38 a.m.

According to Madison Police, an internal review of an officer-involved shooting on MacArthur Rd. is complete and the officers have been exonerated.

The shooting happened May 18th in the 1100 block of MacArthur Rd.

The officers involved were identified as:
·Officer Justin Bailey, joined the MPD in May, 2009
·Officer Gary Pihlaja, joined the MPD in May, 2008

Police say 26-year-old Ashley DiPiazza presented a threat to the officers. She was shot and died at the scene.

The internal review states that the use of deadly forced was authorized.

Earlier this week the Dane County District Attorney cleared the officers of any criminal charges.

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UPDATED Wednesday, May 21, 2014 --- 1:15 p.m.

Madison Police have identified the officers involved in the MacArthur Rd. shooting.

The officers are:

·Officer Justin Bailey, joined the MPD in May, 2009
·Officer Gary Pihlaja, joined the MPD in May, 2008

The officers responded to a domestic disturbance call early Sunday morning in the 1100 block of MacArthur Road.

Police say 26-year-old Ashley DiPiazza presented a threat to the officers. She was shot and died at the scene.

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UPDATED Monday, May 19, 2014 --- 4:34 p.m.

The Dane Co. Medical Examiner has identified the Madison woman killed in an officer-involved shooting as 26-year-old Ashley DiPiazza.

Officers responded to a domestic disturbance call early Sunday morning in the 1100 block of MacArthur Road.

Police say the woman presented a threat to the officers, and she was shot.

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UPDATED Sunday, May 18, 2014 -- 3:00 p.m.

A 26-year-old woman is dead after officers responded to a domestic disturbance call shortly after 1:20 a.m. early Sunday morning, according to a MPD news release.

It happened on the 1100-block of MacArthur road.

The woman's boyfriend called 9-1-1 and reported he ran away from the apartment after his girlfriend armed herself with a weapon.

The weapon was a semi-automatic handgun, according to Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.

"We did make contact with the woman, there were extended verbal discussions held, but at one point she presented a threat to the officers," Koval explained.

"Our officers did in fact engage the woman, and shot her," he added.

Neighbors tell NBC15 it's an incident that's unusual in the neighborhood, which they described as calm and quiet.

Koval reiterated the dangerousness and complexity of domestic disturbance calls.

"There are so many infinite variables when you go to a domestic disturbance," he said, adding that "there are very serious calls" that always "necessitate at least two officers if not more".

The state's Department of Criminal Investigation is taking over the investigation of the shooting, as required by law.

"We are only providing supplemental resources, they are being directed and commanded by DCI," Koval said.

MPD is not yet releasing the name of the victim or the names of the officers involved.

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Posted: Sunday, May 18, 2014 --- 9:18 a.m.

Police were called to a domestic disturbance in the 1100 block of MacArthur Road just after 1:20 a.m.

A man told a 9-1-1 communicator that he had fled an apartment after his girlfriend armed herself with a handgun. Police contacted the woman and she displayed a handgun. The woman failed to comply with verbal commands. Two officers fired their service weapons.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. She was 26 years old, and the Dane County Medical Examiner will release her name after all family members are notified.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the officer involved shooting. The involved officers will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.


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