MARINETTE – The Marinette County district attorney has cleared the five officers involved in a shooting death last month in the Town of Goodman.
District Attorney DeShea Morrow, in a prepared statement, said the shooting death was justified and no criminal charges will be brought against the officers.
The Marinette County officers and their years of experience are: Lt. Barry Degnitz, 27 years; deputy Jesse Parker, 19 years; deputy Patrick Callahan, four years; deputy David Oginski, 15 years; and deputy Steve Schmidt, 12 years.
Richard Gibbs, 62, Milwaukee, was the man killed at a residence in Goodman. Law enforcement received a call at 5 p.m., Oct. 23 of a possible homicide.
Law enforcement followed a suspect who entered a vehicle and fled the home. The vehicle came to a stop, the individual exited the vehicle and pointed a firearm at officers. The officers then fired and struck the individual. The suspect, John Lipski, 62, Milwaukee, died at the scene.
Morrow said a male subject (Lipski) called the Marinette County Dispatch Center and told the dispatcher he had just killed his best friend (Gibbs).
“The male told dispatch that he wanted to die,” Morrow said in her statement. “The male also said multiple times that if the police came, he would shoot them.”
Responding officers, including the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office deputies and its Special Response Team, along with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, observed the house, located the suspect and reported his movement, according to Morrow.
“Deputies could see that the suspect had a gun in his hand at one point when he came out of the house,” Morrow said in the statement.
Lipski left the house in an SUV and went on an RV trail with deputies in pursuit, according to Morrow. Lipski stopped his vehicle, exited and walked toward a piece of heavy machinery on the side of the road. He had a gun in his right hand.
Lipski ignored commands from deputies to drop the gun. He walked back toward the road and pointed the gun at deputies, Morrow said.
“Deputies then fired their duty weapons at the suspect, striking him,” Morrow said in the statement. “The suspect died from the gunshot wounds he received.”
Deputies then went back to the Goodman home and found Gibbs, who had died from an apparent gunshot wound.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) conducted a thorough investigation of the incident, according to Morrow.
She said she based her determination of the evidence contained in the DCI reports, which not only includes witness statements, but also video from squad cameras, calls made by the deceased to dispatch and physical evidence collected at the scene.