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Wisconsin sheriff's deputy fatally shot by "evasive" DUI suspect who then killed himself, authorities say

St. Croix County deputy shot, killed in line of duty
St. Croix County deputy shot, killed in line of duty 02:42

A suspected drunken driver shot and killed a Wisconsin sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop before running into some nearby woods and killing himself, authorities said Sunday. It marked the third Wisconsin law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty in just a few weeks, CBS Minnesota reported.

During a conversation about field sobriety tests, Jeremiah Johnson was "evasive," drew a handgun and shot St. Croix County Deputy Kaitie Leising in Glenwood, about 60 miles east of Minneapolis, the state Department of Justice said.

Deputy Kaitie Leising St. Croix County Sheriff's Office/CBS News

"After being struck, Deputy Leising discharged her weapon three times, but none of the rounds hit Johnson before he fled to the nearby wooded area," the agency said, adding that the incident was captured on body camera video.

People in another vehicle began lifesaving measures Saturday, but Leising, 29, was pronounced dead at a hospital.

An hour after the shooting, an officer heard a gunshot in the woods and saw Johnson, 34, fall to the ground, investigators said.

Leising was hired by St. Croix County in 2022 after she spent approximately two years working for the sheriff's office in Pennington County, South Dakota, St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said.

Video from CBS Minnesota showed officers saluting and people filling overpasses on Interstate 94 as Leising's body was brought back to Wisconsin.

Leising's body was being escorted by police back to Wisconsin from the medical examiner's office in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"Our love and condolences go out to the family of Kaitie Leising and all those with whom she served," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "We, as a law enforcement family, will do everything possible to continue to provide support and comfort to her family. We will miss her infectious smile and personality. She will be missed by all she touched."

A few of the deputies who just lost their colleague lowered their flags to half staff.

The incident marks at least the fourth law enforcement casualty in the region since last month, CBS Minnesota reported.

In April, Wisconsin officers Hunter Scheel of Cameron and Emily Breidenbach of Chetek were killed in a shootout after serving a warrant at a traffic stop. 

A week after that, Pope County, Minnesota Sheriff's Deputy Joshua Owen was killed in a shootout. Another deputy and a Starbuck police officer were also shot, but survived.

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