EAU GALLE TOWNSHIP, Wis. (WCCO) — Western Wisconsin Sheriff’s Deputies shot and killed a man who they say threatened them.
Deputies from the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched around 7:21 p.m. Saturday to a home on the 2600 block of Boston Road in Eau Galle Township.
When police arrived, they secured the scene. At 9:09 p.m., the man, who was armed with three firearms, exited the residence and confronted officers who were at the end of his driveway.
“It was pretty terrifying,” said neighbor Doris Ronnander who recalled the cops, sirens and sheer horror.
Doris, her daughter and grandkids were all at home when they heard gunfire.
“We turned off all the lights and TVs, and got to an interior part of the house without windows, and just tried to stay as calm as we could,” said Tara Huebel, Doris’ daughter.
Patrick McDonnell’s wife called 911 for help around 7 p.m. and reported that her husband was intoxicated, suicidal and armed with a handgun.
McDonnell came home, showed a gun and ordered his wife and kids to leave.
“As the woman and two children left the residence, he reportedly followed them outside and fired one shot into the air,” said John Shilts, St. Croix County Sheriff.
St. Croix County Sheriff’s Deputies descended on McDonnell’s home.
The Sheriff says McDonnell walked down to the end of his driveway and confronted officers. He fired two shots, and one bullet hit a squad car. Three deputies returned fire, fatally injuring McDonnell.
Neighbors tell WCCO-TV that McDonnell was a volatile man who’d easily snap.
“There was some information that there might have been a pending divorce,” said the Sheriff.
The Sheriff also said the investigation should show more about why McDonnell was suicidal Saturday.
Those three deputies are on administrative leave, which is standard procedure pending the outcome of the investigation.
“It’s an eye-opener for everybody I think,” said Doris.
She’s just glad no one else was hurt physically, but she’s concerned the emotional scars will last on family members for a long time.