Walworth County sheriff's deputy returns to full duty after D.A.'s review of fatal shooting
ELKHORN A Walworth County sheriff’s deputy involved the shooting of a suicidal Lyons man May 5 will return to full duty after the county’s district attorney reviewed the incident, according to a release from the sheriff’s office Monday.
Deputy Sheriff Wayne Blanchard had been placed on administrative duty—which is normal procedure, pending the outcome of an investigation—after shooting and killing John Brown, 22.
In a letter to an agent from the Division of Criminal Investigation at the state Department of Justice—which headed the investigation—Walworth County District Attorney Phillip Koss wrote Blanchard was trying to prevent himself or another deputy from being attacked with a knife by Brown after the officers responded to a call from Brown’s mother at her Lyons mobile home. In a 911 call, Brown's mother said her son was trying to commit suicide.
The letter noted that Brown, whose autopsy report showed a blood-alcohol level of .182, had been texting friends late on the night of May 4 that indicated he was going to end his life.
When Blanchard and Walworth County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Such arrived at the residence, Brown was armed with what Koss described as a “SWAT-type knife.” Brown refused to drop the weapon when ordered to by Blanchard, telling the deputy he would have to shoot him.
Brown came within five to six feet of Blanchard with the knife before the deputy fired two shots, mortally wounding him, according to the letter.
Koss noted that although Such held a taser, it wouldn’t have effectively stopped Brown, and called Blanchard’s actions appropriate in a tragic situation.