A judge in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, set a $1.5 million cash bond on a man accused of shooting two police officers. The incident took place in Delafield during the investigation of a reported hit-and-run.
Prosecutors filed two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and use of a dangerous weapon against Nathanael Benton, a 23-year-old North Dakota man, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reported. A circuit court judge set a cash bond of $1.5 million on the man who also faces charges of being an out-of-state felon in possession of a firearm.
In the early morning hours of November 6, police officers from Delafield and Hartland responded to a call about a possible hit-and-run near a Holiday Inn Express in Delafield.
When the two officers arrived, they spoke with a 30-year-old man attempting to check into the hotel. Benton and a 29-year-old woman were inside the 2004 Oldsmobile parked outside, the local newspaper reported. The couple are reportedly both from Warsaw, Indiana, KVBR reported.
About 30 minutes after the initial contact, officers reported shots had been fired at the location. Other officers responded to the call for help and found the two officers had been shot.
Investigators learned that Benton was traveling with the woman and the other man to Wisconsin Rapids to visit her aunt. She claimed to have just met Benton that day.
The original responding officers were searching the woman’s purse and Benton’s backpack when Benton suddenly “produced a handgun and started shooting,” the woman told investigators. She then hid in a ditch and called 911. Benton reportedly fled the scene on foot.
Emergency responders transported the two wounded officers to hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Officers on the scene began a manhunt for Benton.
Police received a tip about a man matching Benton’s description and officers responded to that area of Delafield. The officers found Benton and took him into custody without incident.
The newspaper reported that police found Benton’s firearm near the area where they arrested him.
Benton is reportedly wanted by police in Fargo, North Dakota, for attempted murder. That incident took place on November 1, the newspaper stated. He also has a conviction from a court in Richland County, North Dakota, for sexual imposition.
The Heartland PD officer sustained two gunshots in the back and one in the hip, officials told the local Journal Sentinal. He is reported to be in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries but is “still in pretty bad shape,” Hartland Police Chief Torin Misko told the reporter Evan Frank.
The second officer, from the Delafield Police Department, sustained a gunshot wound to the hip. Delafield Police Chief Erik Kehl said his officer “is in about the best possible state, considering the circumstances.”
The report did not indicate if the officers returned fire.
If convicted on the charges, Benton could face up to 140 years in prison in addition to the charge pending in North Dakota.
Both police departments received an outpouring of support from their suburban communities. Hundreds of residents called in tips with possible sightings and concerns for the officers’ well being.
After the arrest, residents reportedly tied blue ribbons to trees and light police. They also displayed blue lights on their homes and Back the Badge signs.
Delafield PD told the reporter they were “humbled by the support we have received over the past two days. Yesterday was one of the greatest challenges our department has ever faced.”
Hartland PD Chief Misko added, “It definitely is a great emotional boost for us at the police department to work through this really traumatic event for us. To see that the community has our back in the way they do, it’s just so uplifting.”
Benton is wanted in Fargo for the alleged shooting of Nathan Crawford, ValleyNewsLive reported.
Crawford told the local news outlet, “He just shot me! And I had no reason for him to do that to me. I didn’t know he had a gun and I certainly didn’t think he was going to shoot me when I had my back to him.”
Doctors removed a 9 mm bullet from the back of Crawford’s skull. They said the wound should have been fatal.
Both of the Wisconsin police officers are reported to have been shot from behind as well.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook.