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Video: Wisconsin Officer Killed by Army Vet

March 21, 2011  | 

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A suicidal gunman and former Army solider fatally shot a Fond du Lac (Wis.) Police officer and wounded two others on Sunday. He was found dead by SWAT officers who entered the home after a six-hour stand-off using tear gas.

Officer Craig Birkholz, 28, was shot in the upper torso above his ballistic vest as he approached the home at 24 S. Lincoln Ave. K-9 Officer Ryan Williams and his dog Grendel were also shot at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday. Chief Tony Barthuly said Williams' ballistic vest likely saved his life. A third officer was hit and not seriously wounded, reports the Fond du Lac Reporter.

Suspect James Cruckson, a 30-year-old Army veteran, turned the gun on himself during the standoff with SWAT. Officers initially went to the home, after a woman arrived at the police station to report a sexual crime involving Cruckson.

During the standoff, Cruckson's mother Lynn Surita contacted her son to attempt to get him to surrender to authorities. Apparently Cruckson suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Read the full story at Local Fox affiliate WLUK interviewed residents living near the home. Also, watch a video showing SWAT officers entering the home that includes police radio traffic:

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Darragh O'Nuallain @ 3/21/2011 10:05 PM

As a fellow Officer (Deputy) my heart goes out to Craig and his family at this terrible time. RIP

maleman39 @ 3/22/2011 8:23 AM

It is unfortunate. But what is the author of this story trying to say: that Army Veterans are dangerous and untrustworthy? Making this the focus of the story is outrageous, biased and unfair, to say the least. I am an Army Veteran and I fully support Law and Order. I never had PTSD. That he suffered from apparently unresolved PTSD is an indictment of the failure of the Army and VA to treat this vet's mental problem. Anyone can get PTSD from any trauma. Is this to say that we are all untrustworthy and dangerous? Nuts.

WebEdPaul @ 3/22/2011 10:27 AM

@maleman39 We meant no disrespect to Army vets with the headline. It was purely factual. The officer killed was also an Army vet.

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