Police: Beloit man hits, kills woman with car while fleeing police; man shot by officer
BELOIT (WKOW) -- A woman is dead after a man hit her with a van while fleeing police.
According to the Beloit Police Department, 47-year-old Sheila Rosenbaum complained about an unwanted person, 40-year-old Christopher Rutherford, around 7:30 p.m. Sunday. When police tried to arrest Rutherford, he ran from them, got into a van, and hit Rosenbaum as he drove off, according to officers. Rosenbaum was transported to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
Neighbor Linda Walmer says a short time after the collision, she was told by those on-scene more details of the collision.
"She was trying to block him from running away from the police officers, and that's when he hit her," Walmer says.
Beloit Police Captain Dan Risse says the collision remains under investigation.
Risse says as Rutherford was driving away, officers fired gun shots at him.
Eyewitnesses tell 27 News Rutherford crashed into a tree in the 800 block of Roosevelt Ave. He tried to run away, but officers caught him on the 700 block of 10th St. Risse says when police arrested him, they determined he had a gunshot wound. Rutherford was taken to the hospital.
An official at Janesville's Mercy Hospital declines comment on Rutherford's condition.
The City of Beloit Police Department is investigating the death of Sheila Rosenbaum. Risse says there was a relationship between Rosenbaum and Rutherford. One neighbor tells 27 News they appeared to be in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, but one that was marred by frequent arguments and break-ups.
Beloit Police have requested the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation to conduct the inquiry into the shooting. The officers involved have been reassigned to administrative assignments and their names have not been released yet. They were not injured in the incident. Had the officer-involved shooting resulted in a death, a new state law would have required an outside agency to lead the investigation.
Risse says this incident is "further proof domestic violence is as disturbing to a community as gang violence associated to drugs or weapons."
Rosenbaum sold exotic birds and supporting equipment.
"The lady would always wave, no matter what," Walmer says. "She never hurt anybody."
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