Rusk County deputy cleared in August deadly shooting

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Rusk County (WQOW) – The Department of Justice has cleared the deputy who shot and killed a man in August.

As we’ve reported, 35-year-old Adam Knowlton of Hawkins was in an altercation with two deputies August 12, which ended in Knowlton’s death. Police were called there by someone reporting Knowlton was drunk, and was concerned he would get violent.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice identified the two officers involved as Ben Reisner and Matt Wojcik. Information released Friday shows the other people in the house were outside, while Knowlton stayed in his bedroom, which contained knives.

The report included a lot of information not previously released. It said when officers went in to confront Knowlton, he was inside a closet in the bedroom holding “an edged weapon over 12 inches in length consisting of a blade at the end of a metal rod”. Police say Knowlton didn’t listen to their instructions to drop the knife and come out of the closet. Deputies then sprayed pepper spray into the closet hoping to disable him. The report stated Knowlton came out of the closet, charging at Deputy Wojcik with the knife. Police said they told Knowlton multiple times to drop the knife or he’d be shot, and tased him when he didn’t comply. Authorities said Knowlton was still coming at Wojcik with the knife even after being tased, and that’s when Wojcik shot him.

That report stated Knowlton continued to be combative to officers and responding EMTs after he was shot. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

The Rusk County District Attorney investigated and determined the deputies acted reasonably, believing they were at risk of great bodily harm.


Savanna Tomei

Savanna Tomei

Savanna is the 6 p.m. producer and co-anchor, and also anchors the 10 p.m. newscast.

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