No criminal liability for deputy involved in shooting - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

No criminal liability for deputy involved in shooting

11 year veteran of Sheriff's Department Keith Severson 11 year veteran of Sheriff's Department Keith Severson
25-year-old Eugene Walker 25-year-old Eugene Walker

DANE COUNTY (WKOW) -- The Dane County District Attorney has cleared the deputy involved in a fatal shooting last Tuesday.

District Attorney Ismael Ozanne says 11-year veteran of the Sheriff's Department Keith Severson won't be held criminally liable for 25-year-old Eugene Walker's death.

Walker ran from his ex-girlfriend's home last Tuesday evening in Fitchburg, after police say he entered through an unlocked back door and held a gun to her head. Fitchburg police say Walker's brother had brought him to the home.

The ex-girlfriend then called police, and a 90 minute search ensued.

Ozanne says it was during that time Walker sent text messages to his ex-girlfriend and had phone conversations with family members, saying he wouldn't go back to jail.

Ozanne said, "[He sent] a text message to the victim stating he was going to die, and that he loved her. Statements made, and I do not know the direct quotes, because I believe these are phone conversations made with his mother and his sister. They made statements to law enforcement moments before this, that he was not going to be taken alive, he did not want to go back to jail."

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney says Deputy Severson encountered Walker as he walked up to his mother's apartment in the town of Madison.

Mahoney says Severson believed Walker had a gun. Severson told police Walker was standing with his hand behind his back. Severson then drew his weapon, ordering Walker to lay on the ground.

Deputies say Walker's mother and sister tried to hold him back, but he ran at Severson. It was then Severson fired one shot. It's unclear if that shot hit Walker.

Mahoney described the attack, "He then came down on top of Keith, placing his knees on his arms. Now imagine, his [Severson's] arms are pinned. He's [Severson] got his handgun in his hand. At which point Walker immediately starting striking him to the face."

Mahoney adds that Severson, losing consciousness, freed his arm, firing six or seven shots in all. The Dane County coroner says Walker was hit four times in the torso.

Mahoney added, "There was no doubt in his mind, because he mentioned it to others who relayed it to law enforcement, that he wasn't going back to jail or prison under any circumstances."

No word on when Severson will be back on duty.

Walker's family was not home when 27 News tried to contact them about the District Attorney's findings. Eugene Walker's funeral is scheduled for Tuesday.


MADISON (WKOW) --- The Dane County District Attorney's Office says after extensive investigation into the deputy involved shooting October 12, the deputy will not be criminally liable.

Officials say the Dane County Sheriff's deputy is 11 year veteran Keith Severson.

The investigation found Severson was attacked and beaten before shooting and killing Eugene Walker in the Town of Madison.

They found Walker had sent text messages to the victim of the domestic violence incident, as well as his mother and sister indicating that he would not be taken alive and would not go back to jail.

Deputies say the mother and sister tried to hold Walker back, but he broke free and charged at Severson.  Severson fired a shot.   Walker then pinned him down and punched him in the face.  Severson was losing consciousness when he got his hands free and fired more.

Officials found that 6 or 7 rounds were fired, 4 of them hitting Walker in the torso.  Officials are unsure as to exactly when all of the rounds were fired.

Severson says Walker had his hand behind his back which made him believe he had a gun.  Reports show Walker did not have one.

Toxicology reports have not come back yet, but witnesses say they could smell alcohol on Walker's breath.

Teresa Mackin is at the press conference and will have more on the investigation on 27 News at 5 & 6.

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