UPDATE: Wis. prosecutor clears Sparta officer in fatal shooting

UPDATED Monday, March 17, 2014 --- 10:24 a.m.

SPARTA, Wis. (AP) -- Prosecutors in western Wisconsin have cleared the police officer who shot and killed a 21-year-old man in October.

A La Crosse Tribune report says Sparta police Sgt. Booker Ferguson has since returned to work.

Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger says Ferguson was acting within the law when he shot and killed John Bartholomew.

Ferguson responded to a call from Bartholomew's father, who reported that his son was drinking and threatening his parents with weapons.

Croninger's report says Bartholomew was carrying two knives when he advanced upon Ferguson in the street. The report says the suspect repeatedly ignored the officer's request to drop the knives, so Ferguson shot him three times.

Croninger says Ferguson "made the correct decision" and that there wasn't time to use a less lethal weapon.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013 --- 2:40 p.m.

SPARTA, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are releasing more details about a Sparta police officer's fatal shooting of a man last week.

Sparta Police Chief Michael Kass said Tuesday that police were called about 9:15 p.m. Friday to help remove 21-year-old John Bartholomew of Sparta from a home.

Kass says Bartholomew armed himself with knives and started threatening the caller and another family member.

When Police Sgt. Booker Ferguson arrived, Bartholomew began advancing on the officer with two knives. Ferguson shot Bartholomew after he ignored orders to drop the knives.

Bartholomew was given first aid and was taken to a Sparta hospital but died.

Ferguson is a 10-year police veteran and is on administrative leave.

The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting, with help from Sparta police and the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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