An incident involving a car chase that ended in an officer-involved shooting in Eau Claire County had its origins in southern Dunn County.
Before it was finished, an Eau Claire County sheriff's deputy shot an armed man who had just been released from prison, authorities said. The wounded man was identified as Reese Diesterhaft.
Dunn County sheriff's deputies were called at 1:14 p.m. Tuesday reporting a man harassing a women in the town of Rock Creek.
How the chase began
Deputies spoke with the caller and a short time later, a deputy located the suspect nearby and attempted to hear his side of the story.
During the encounter, the man's name was run through state and national databases to determine whether he had any arrest warrants and whether he has a valid driver's license.
"We believe the suspect was aware of a warrant on him and abruptly left the location of the contact at a high rate of speed in his vehicle," Sheriff Dennis Smith said in a media release. "While deputies began pursuing the vehicle, they were advised by dispatch that there is a warrant for the suspect."
In addition to a parole violation out of South Dakota, an August 2012 Dunn County warrant for the 23-year-old Diesterhaft was discovered. Smith said Diesterhaft's wounds were minor, and he was returned to the Dunn County Jail where he remains in custody on an outstanding 2012 warrant.
Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf said she anticipates filing criminal charges, but is still waiting for reports to determine what those charges will be.
How it ended
Deputies followed the suspect toward Eau Claire on State Highway 85. As they neared the county line, a deputy saw the driver reach behind the seat and pull a long gun into the front seat.
At that point, they backed off to wait for more officers to help in stopping the suspect who turned onto a town road in Eau Claire County followed cautiously by the deputies.
Maneuvering around unfamiliar corners, they lost sight of the suspect's vehicle. It wasn't long before Eau Claire County deputies joined their Dunn County colleagues and flooded the area — in the midst of heavy rain — searching for the wanted man.
When Eau Claire deputies located and stopped him on Spehle Road in the town of Brunswick, the suspect reportedly got out of his truck with the long gun in hand. Dunn County deputies were not involved in the traffic stop, but reported that radio traffic indicated that shots were fired.
It was later learned that two Eau Claire deputies were involved in the shooting of the suspect who was airlifted to an area hospital.
Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer told WQOW-News 18 that the Wisconsin State Patrol's aircraft helped to locate the suspect and added, "We're concerned with the fact that he just got out of prison three weeks ago, and here we are — on National Night Out — and here we are on a major crime."
The officer who shot the man has been put on leave pending an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
The Eau Claire Sheriff's Department has indicated that it will share more information about Diesterhaft's apprehension as it becomes available.