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Wisconsin Officer Fatally Shoots Man Armed With Pitchfork

by Associated Press /

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A police officer fatally shot a man after he emerged from a lake, broke into a home and advanced toward the officer with a pitchfork in Madison, Wisconsin.

Police Chief Mike Koval said the department received a call around 9 p.m. Thursday about a man who was chest-deep in Lake Monona, slapping the water and talking to himself.

The man, still in the lake, reportedly threw a rock into the window of a home, the chief said. The homeowners also called police and fled after they heard the man breaking items in the basement.

The first officer on the scene was waiting for backup when the man approached the doorway from inside the house with a four-pronged pitchfork, the chief said. He described the tool as something used to shovel seaweed.

The officer ordered him to stop but the man kept "aggressing" toward the officer and the officer felt compelled to shoot him, Koval said.

Police provided the man with first aid. He was taken to a hospital, where he died, Koval said. The state Department of Justice is investigating the shooting per a state law that requires an outside agency to investigate officer-involved deaths.

The chief didn't identify the officer, how many shots were fired or where they struck the man. The Dane County Medical Examiner's Office identified the man as 41-year-old Michael William Schumacher, of Fitchburg. Koval described the man as white.

The Medical Examiner's Office said in a statement that preliminary autopsy results confirm Schumacher died as a result of firearm-related trauma. Additional testing is being conducted, the statement said.

Madison police came under intense scrutiny last year after a white officer fatally shot Tony Robinson, a 19-year-old black man, during an altercation in an apartment building stairwell. Dane County District Attorney Ishmael Ozanne ultimately cleared the officer of any criminal wrongdoing.

Last week, the department took more criticism after two officers wrestled an 18-year-old black woman to the ground, kneed and punched her after she allegedly resisted arrest. She was accused of displaying a knife at a mall and threatening mall security staff.

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