The La Crosse Police Department is conducting an investigation of an Eau Claire police officer’s fatal shooting on Saturday, April 8, of a man armed with a knife.
State law says investigations of police shootings need to be done by an outside law enforcement agency.
Gregory J. Kever, 25, died in the incident on Eau Claire’s west side. The officer involved in the shooting was Jim Konkel, a 20-year veteran of the Eau Claire Police Department.
According to a press release by Eau Claire Police Chief Jerry Staniszewski:
Konkel and Officers Kevin Putzy and Jake Olson responded to 2214 Peters Drive on a call saying there was a man acting erratically in an apartment complex’s hallways.
Banging on doors, the man asked, “Why am I still alive; why am I still here?”
Konkel was the first officer at the scene and saw Kever in the complex’s parking lot. Kever was carrying a large knife. Another officer arrived, and Kever tried to enter that officer’s squad car.
Konkel and the other officers gave Kever verbal commands, but Kever did not drop the knife.
What police call "less lethal bean bag rounds" were fired at Kever, but had little effect. A Taser was then used, but was also not effective.
Kever, still with the knife, then charged at an officer, and Konkel fired his gun. Several other officers then began life saving actions on Kever, but were unsuccessful and Kever was pronounced dead at the scene.
Konkel is on administrative assignment while an investigation is being done. The investigation will be fully disclosed to the public and reviewed by citizens.
The La Crosse Police Department, the Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office, the Eau Claire Fire Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol helped the Eau Claire Police Department during the incident.