UPDATE: Beloit Officers Cleared in Shooting of Suspect in Van

Published 05/30 2014 05:16PM

Updated 06/02 2014 11:10AM

UPDATE:  Police Chief Norm Jacobs released a statement Monday following the decision of the District Attorney on Friday to clear the officers of criminal conduct where they fired their weapons at a fleeing murder suspect. Chief Jacobs said “Officers Dave Elrod and Amy Copeland were among other witnesses who became secondary victims of the tragedy occurring on Tenth Street that day”.

The officers will return to work as soon as our administrative steps are taken to get them back on the street.

BELOIT -- The officers who fired on a man in a van who hit and killed his girlfriend while trying to flee have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary says a report by the Wisconsin Criminal Investigation Division clears the officers in the wounding of Christopher Rutherford on May 11th.

Police were called to the home at 934 10th St. in response to a domestic disturbance.  Officers arrived to find Rutherford struggling over car keys with his girlfriend Sheila Rosenbaum.  Once officers separated them, they notice Rutherford was also armed with a knife, and attempted to taser him.  That's when Rutherford jumped into the van and attempted to escape, running over Rosenbaum in the process.

Officers then fired, hitting Rutherford in the shoulder.  He was stopped a short time later and taken into custody.  Rosenbaum died from her injuries.

Rutherford was treated and is now jailed on 1st degree reckless homicide charges.

The District Attorney determined the officers were trying to protect their own lives and the lives of others in firing.  O'Leary also praised citizen Timothy Baars, who ran after and subdued Rutherford until the police arrived and took him into custody. 

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