Officers involved in fatal shooting near Elkhorn identified

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Jonah Beleckis | February 10, 2017

ELKHORN—The Walworth County Sheriff's Office on Friday released the names of two officers involved in the shooting death of a 26-year-old Lake Geneva man Feb. 2.

The officers are Walworth County sheriff's Deputy Jesse Smith, 34, and Elkhorn police officer Robert Rayfield, 31, according to a news release sent Friday afternoon.

The deceased, Kris Kristl, 26, was the suspect of a reckless driving complaint, according to the release.

"He is alleged to have displayed a purported weapon during the incident," the release states. "Both officers discharged their weapons during this incident."

Representatives from the sheriff's office were not immediately available to provide more information about the incident.

Kristl's name was released in a Feb. 3 joint news release from the Walworth County sheriff and Elkhorn police chief.

The Feb. 3 release indicates Smith and Rayfield were “involved in an on-duty, officer-involved shooting” at about 7:46 p.m. Feb. 2 near Elkhorn's southern city limits on County H near Petrie Road in the town of Geneva.

The officer's names and the new detail about the purported weapon were released with approval from the state Division of Criminal Investigation and the Walworth County District Attorney's Office, according to the release.

Smith has six years of law enforcement experience, the last two at the sheriff's office, according to a release last week. Rayfield has been with the Elkhorn Police Department for about eight years.

Both officers have been placed on administrative duty, which is standard practice, according to the release last week.

The incident is the seventh fatal shooting by law enforcement in Walworth County since 2010 and the third in the last 13 months, according to Gazette records.

Most recently, a sheriff's deputy killed Christopher J. Davis, 21, Milwaukee, in East Troy on Feb. 24, 2016, when the driver of the car Davis was in failed to follow commands from police as he drove out of a parking lot. Former Walworth County District Attorney Dan Necci said the officer was justified.

The Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the ongoing investigation into the Feb. 2 incident.

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