Video released as La Crosse officers cleared in fatal shooting

Dashcam video and cell phone video from witnesses of a fatal officer-involved shooting last month in La Crosse is released as the district attorney clears the officers of any wrongdoing.

The Department of Justice released the videos Friday, the same day the district attorney announced the officers, Stephen Hughes and Andrew Adey, acted in reasonable self-defense.

As a result, neither officer will be charged with any criminal offenses in connection with the incident.

Just after 5:00 p.m. on Aug. 13, officers responded to reports of a carjacking at Houska Park.

The caller said a man had stolen her vehicle at gunpoint and her infant was still in the car.

Officer Hughes spotted the car a short time later and tried to stop it. The driver, later identified as Roger J. Burzinski, refused to stop and led police on a short chase.

Burzinski drove the stolen car into a construction zone near the area of 8th and Johnson St. where he hit a parked car.

Officer Hughes was able to use his squad to pin the stolen car with the parked vehicle.

Officer Hughes approached the car on the driver’s side and busted out the front and rear driver’s side windows with his expandable baton.

The infant was in a child seat in the back seat of the driver’s side.

According to the report, Officer Hughes gave commands to Burzinski to get out of the car, but he refused. He continued to try to escape by rocking the car back and forth.

Officer Adey arrived and approached the vehicle from the front.

Both officers gave commands with their weapons drawn for Burzinski to get out of the car, but he again refused.

They then saw Burzinski lean toward the center console of the car, sit up straight and point a gun toward the officers on the driver’s side.

Officer Hughes fired two rounds and Officer Adey fired three rounds.

Officers on scene immediately removed Burzinski from the car and started first aid.

He was taken to Gundersen Health System where he was pronounced dead.

The gun that Burzinski was holding was later determined to be a pellet or BB gun.

An autopsy showed Burzinski had four gunshot wounds to the torso resulting in his death.

The District Attorney’s Office concludes both officers were reasonable in their belief that they were in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

The investigation was completed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation.