MPD officers cleared in May 18 officer involved shooting - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

MPD officers cleared in May 18 officer involved shooting

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MADISON (WKOW) --- The Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne says there is no potential criminal liability for the Madison Police officers involved in the shooting of Ashley DiPiazza on May 18.

Here is the official statement:

“The officers were responding to a call of a domestic disturbance in which a female had

armed herself with a firearm and was still in the apartment the male half had fled from.

Officers entered the building and were able to unlock the apartment door to help negotiate

with the female, who appeared in the bedroom door with a handgun pointed at her head

prior to closing the bedroom door. Officers attempted to get the female to come out

unarmed. When the female exited the bedroom unannounced and armed, officers gave

repeated verbal commands to drop the weapon before they fired at the armed woman,” said

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne. “Responding to that threat with deadly force

is permitted under the law.”

On 5-18-14 at 1:20 AM, MAPD was dispatched to 1121 MacArthur Road, apartment #2 in

Madison for a domestic disturbance where Ashley Dipiazza had armed herself. Officers

made contact with the male half of the incident and received the key for the apartment to

open the door to help facilitate negotiations with Ms. Dipiazza. Other residents sharing the

common hallway known to be home were evacuated by law enforcement. Officers

announced their presence and a trained negotiator was brought in. Prior to the arrival of a

negotiator, Ms. Dipiazza was seen in the bedroom through the open door with a handgun

held to her head, prior to her closing the bedroom door again. Officers continued to request

Ms. Dipiazza to come out unarmed.

Once the negotiator arrived, communication was attempted with Ms. Dipiazza through the

closed bedroom door. Ms. Dipiazza was requested to come out of the bedroom unarmed.

Ms. Dipiazza made requests to speak with the male half “one last time,” but was informed it

was unsafe to bring the male half in as long as she was armed.

The negotiator asked Ms. Dipiazza to open the bedroom door a crack to help with

communication, as officers were having trouble understanding what she was saying through

the closed door. Ms. Dipiazza opened the door a few inches briefly before it was closed

again. Repeated requests were made for Ms. Dipiazza to come out unarmed. Officers saw

the door open and then Ms. Dipiazza exited the bedroom with the handgun pointed to her

head as she was told to “drop the gun” repeatedly. Ms. Dipiazza did not comply with

officers’ commands.

Ms. Dipiazza exited the bedroom towards officers while armed. Ms. Dipiazza was not

complying with verbal commands to drop the gun. Knowing it takes a split second to turn a

handgun towards a target and with reaction time a person can still fire multiple rounds

before return fire can occur, officers fired at Ms. Dipiazza. She was pronounced dead at the

scene by the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office. A loaded Glock 9mm handgun

owned by the male half of the incident was removed from Ms. Dipiazza’s person.

Relevant evidence includes statements of a victim, eyewitnesses including officers, physical

evidence found and obtained from the scene and the autopsy, which are consistent with

each other.

Under Wisconsin law, which applies equally to members of law enforcement and to those

who are not, any person may use deadly force to respond to a genuine fear of deadly force

to that person or any other person. In this case, the officers were compelled to use deadly

force when faced with a suspect armed with a firearm not responding to commands.

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