EAU CLAIRE — The death of a 37-year-old Eau Claire man, who was shot and killed outside a town of Washington residence last November after he advanced on law enforcement officers armed with knives, was justified, Eau Claire County District Attorney Gary King said Friday.
The officer-involved shooting occurred about 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, at a residence in the 2500 block of Corona Avenue.
The man who was shot and killed was identified as Randy S. LaCoursiere.
The law enforcement officers who fired their weapons during the incident were Brandon Ring, a six-year member of the Sheriff’s Office, and Ryan Roth, a four-year member of the Wisconsin State Patrol.
King said the use of force against LaCoursiere was justified for the following reasons:
• During multiple 911 calls, LaCoursiere was described as having erratic and violent behavior. He had also been drinking alcohol.
• LaCoursiere had been squeezing his spouse’s jaw, pushing her up against glass, and choking her with both hands. She felt she was going to die that day.
• LaCoursiere repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to follow the commands of officers throughout the incident.
• He committed multiple acts of self-harm on the day of the incident.
• LaCoursiere armed himself multiple times with knives during the incident.
• He ignored repeated demands to drop the knife. He advanced on officers while wielding knives.
• LaCoursiere has a history of being combative with law enforcement.
According to the Sheriff’s Office:
A preliminary investigation by the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office showed that local law enforcement officers were called to the Corona Avenue residence at 3:53 p.m. Nov. 22 for a disturbance.
Deputies initially tried to handle the call for service by phone to keep in line with COVID-19 protocols. A second phone call to law enforcement indicated the situation was more heated, so deputies responded to the scene.
LaCoursiere, a resident at the house, became aggressive and uncooperative with his family and deputies. He armed and injured himself with knives, and damaged property. An ambulance was called to the scene because of his injuries.
Officers called for backup. Members of the Eau Claire Police Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol responded.
A woman and three children escaped out of windows in the residence to bring them to safety.
Law enforcement officers attempted to use de-escalation techniques to calm LaCoursiere. LaCoursiere then exited the residence armed with knives and quickly advanced on law enforcement officers, ignoring the officers’ commands.
Investigators said officers used both less lethal options and their firearms. LaCoursiere was pronounced dead at the scene.
The St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office led the investigation of the incident with assistance from the state Justice Department’s Division of Criminal Investigation.
The investigation included examination of law enforcement staff and witness statements, squad car video, forensic evidence and other information related to what led up to this incident.
Ring and Roth were placed on administrative leave during the investigation.