Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin – In a press conference held by Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt and District Attorney Eric Toney, the Wisconsin Department of Justice released their findings regarding a critical incident that occurred on October 14, 2023, in the City of Fond du Lac.

The incident unfolded when the City of Fond du Lac Police Department responded to a distress call from a woman who reported being sexually assaulted and held captive at gunpoint throughout the night. After managing to escape her captor and seeking help, the officers set up a perimeter in the area.

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During this time, Deputy Blaine Evans, a K9 handler from the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office, noticed the suspects’ vehicle leaving the vicinity. Deputy Evans attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the suspect ignored the officer’s lights and siren.

As the suspect began to return to the residence where the assault had taken place, Deputy Evans employed a pit maneuver to bring the vehicle to a stop. However, the suspect accelerated, crashing into the garage. It was at this moment that the suspect emerged from the vehicle armed with an AR-style rifle.

Despite repeated commands, the suspect refused to drop the weapon. In response, Deputy Evans fired two shots at the suspect while simultaneously releasing his K9 partner, Iro. A firefight ensued between Deputy Evans and the suspect, during which the suspect shot K9 Iro multiple times.

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The suspect, using the chaotic situation as an opportunity, quickly got back into his vehicle and reversed, colliding with Deputy Evans’ squad car. Additional officers arrived at the scene, and a single gunshot was heard emanating from the suspect’s vehicle. It was later determined that the suspect had inflicted a self-inflicted gunshot wound, resulting in his demise.

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While attending to the wounded K9 Iro, Deputy Evans and fellow officers provided medical assistance to the suspect; however, he succumbed to his injuries, which included non-lethal gunshot wounds from the exchange of gunfire and the fatal self-inflicted gunshot wound.

K9 Iro was swiftly transferred to Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Appleton, where he underwent emergency surgery. Thanks to months of dedicated rehabilitation, K9 Iro made a remarkable recovery and will resume his duties with the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office.

The thorough post-incident investigation conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Justice concluded that no criminal charges would be filed against Deputy Evans. The investigation validated that Deputy Evans had acted justifiably to safeguard himself, the victim, fellow law enforcement officers, and the community at large.

In the wake of the incident, the Fond du Lac County community rallied together, offering overwhelming support for K9 Iro. Residents united to raise funds for his medical care, demonstrating their appreciation for the vital role played by law enforcement animals.

In a touching moment at the scene, as Deputy Evans attended to K9 Iro, he remarked, “You saved Dad, and now we have to save you.” These words encapsulate the bond shared between law enforcement officers and their loyal K9 companions, exemplifying the courage and dedication exhibited throughout this critical incident.

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