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Gibbs clears Gray in fatal shooting

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Chippewa County investigator William Gray acted in self-defense in the Nov. 14 fatal shooting of Sharrinder Singh Garcha, 20, of the United Kingdom, Chippewa County District Attorney Steve Gibbs decided Monday.

“This was a tragic incident for Investigator Gray and the Chippewa County Law Enforcement Community, but, based on all the evidence and analysis presented in this report, I conclude that Investigator Gray’s use of deadly force in this incident was justified self-defense and that defense cannot be reasonably overcome to establish a basis to charge Investigator Gray with a crime,” Gibbs wrote.

Garcha stabbed Gray several times while the men were in a squad car in the town of Lafayette. In the struggle, Gray retrieved his handgun and shot and killed Garcha.

“It was an easy decision to make,” Gibbs told the Herald on Monday about finding in favor of Gray. “(The shooting) was more than justified.”

Gibbs listed several factors supporting his finding:

  • Gray saw Garcha had a knife in Garcha’s hand and lunged at Gray’s throat.
  • Garcha kept hitting Gray in the face and throat with the knife.
  • Garcha put the knife to the left side of Gray’s throat and dug the knife into the investigator’s throat.
  • “Gray started at that point he thought he was going to die and thought Garchas was going to decapitate him. Gray reiterated that he thought he was going to die.”
  • Gibbs said Gray had the right to defend himself to save his life or protect himself from bodily harm.

Gray told a paramedic that Garcha had a knife and tried cutting Gray’s throat. Gray said he was able to roll and get out his gun and shot Garcha. Gray said his gun jammed so he got out of the squad car and ran.

The mother of a girl said Garcha met the girl was playing an online game, and in January or February 2014 he flew from the United Kingdom to Eau Claire. He later wanted to return to the United Kingdom but did not have the money to buy a plane ticket. He eventually did return in March 2014.

The mother of the girl said Garcha had said he had sold drugs.

She said Garcha showed up at her door two to three weeks before the shooting, along with another young female, who was 17. Garcha said he had been stopped by Homeland Security and was told to return to the United Kingdom, but he instead took the bus with the young female to Chippewa Falls.

The young female said “that on the bus ride to Wisconsin, Garcha had told her that if the cops were to arrest him he would force the cops to kill him so he would not have to go back to the United Kingdom. (The female said) that Garcha owned a black metal knife and always kept it with him.”

Gray continues to recover from the stabbing and has not returned to working for the sheriff’s department.

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