LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – No criminal charges will be brought against a Vernon County deputy related to the fatal shooting of a Genoa area man last month.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice said Tuesday that Vernon County District Attorney Timothy Gaskell made his decision regarding Vernon County Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathon Brown’s actions on June 16.
Brown, a 16-year-veteran of the sheriff’s office, had pulled over a vehicle driven by William S. Boardman after a call for a welfare check from a family member.
During the stop, while Brown was standing on the running board of the vehicle, Boardman put the vehicle into drive and sped off. In an earlier statement from the Department of Justice, it said, “Deputy Brown gave repeated commands to stop the vehicle, which Boardman ignored. Deputy Brown then discharged his firearm, striking Boardman, who was pronounced deceased on scene.”
The Wisconsin Department of Justice also released files and video related to the shooting. WXOW had made an open records request for any files or video related to the incident.
According to an interview done by a DOJ investigator, the family member was at Boardman’s residence when Deputy Bradley Brueggeman arrived. The person told the DOJ investigator that they told the deputies that arrived at the home that Boardman “wasn’t there” mentally and that Boardman “was exhibiting extreme paranoia but stated that it was ‘beyond that, like he is mentally ill.'”
The person said that at first the deputy tried reasoning with Boardman, who ended up in his vehicle. He eventually drove off.
The next interaction Boardman had was with Deputy Brown and Deputy Brueggeman on the side of the road.
Body camera video and audio show Boardman being told he was being detained and to hand over the keys to the vehicle. Instead, the video shows Boardman starting the vehicle. One of the deputies said, “Seriously?”, followed by Boardman saying “Shoot me”. One of the officers says “No”, as Boardman starts to drive off. The video shows Deputy Brown reaching into the pickup and trying to open the door. Unable to do so, the vehicle speeds off northbound. Brown repeatedly asks Boardman to stop before pulling his handgun and fatally shooting Boardman.
Neither Brown or anyone else was injured in the incident.
Both Brown and Brueggeman performed first aid on Boardman after the vehicle was stopped. EMS also assisted when they arrived but Boardman was pronounced dead at the scene by Vernon County Coroner Betty Nigh.