APPLETON, Wis.- An external investigation reveals two Appleton police officers were justified and acted in self-defense in connection with the shooting death of a 22-year-old man. The Green Bay Police Department determined the man wanted police to shoot and kill him last week.
It's called suicide by cop. Investigators say that is exactly what this young Appleton man had been planning for days.
Two officers with the Appleton Police Department are one step closer to returning to active duty.
"He said he wanted the officers to get spooked and to shoot him," said Captain Todd Thomas of the Green Bay Police Department.
Sergeant Greg Pieper and Officer Brandon Edwards shot a 22-year-old Appleton man 4 times. That man allegedly accused of stealing from a gas station and waiting for officers to show up. Once they arrived he pulled a fake shotgun and aimed it at police.
"The officers gave him clear loud commands to freeze, don't move and drop the gun before they shot him," said Captain Thomas.
Outagamie County district attorney Carrie Schneider agrees with the Green Bay Police Department's findings.
"Whenever officers have to engage in actually discharging and firing their weapon it is an emotional decision for them and for their families," explained Schneider.
During the next phase of the investigation, Appleton police will determine whether it was necessary for the officers to use their guns.
"The purpose of this review is to determine whether the use of force is consistent with policies and rules and regulations of the Appleton Police Department," said Appleton Police Chief, Pete Helein.
The officers are on paid administrative leave until the review is complete.