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DA: Sparta officer acted lawfully in shooting incident

Man shot by officer later died of injuries

MONROE COUNTY, Wis. (WKBT) - Sparta Police Sergeant Booker Ferguson acted lawfully and took appropriate action during an officer-involved shooting in October 2013, Monroe County District Attorney Kevin Croninger announced Friday.

On October 4, 2013, Sgt. Ferguson was called to 1008 S. Fairway Drive at about 9:15 p.m. for a disturbance call. The caller told police John Bartholomew, 21, of Sparta, had been drinking and was argumentative.

After the call was made, Sparta police say Bartholomew armed himself with knives and started threatening the caller and another family member. When Sgt. Ferguson got out of his squad car, Bartholomew started walking toward him, according to the police report. Sgt. Ferguson told Bartholomew to drop the knives, but he did not and continued to advance towards the officer. Sgt. Ferguson then fired his handgun, striking Bartholomew. He later died from his injuries from the shooting.

District Attorney Croninger's review concluded that Sgt. Ferguson acted with the scope of his lawful authority, consistently with his training, and consistently with his sworn duty as a law enforcement officer.

"Not only did Sergeant Ferguson make the correct decision, but he also demonstrated an example of the high character of law enforcement officers by rendering first aid, to an individual who just minutes earlier had put both the safety of himself and other members of the public in danger,' Croninger stated.

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