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Rock Co. District Attorney rules Beloit sergeant's actions in shooting were 'legal and appropriate'

  • Updated
Beloit presser

Beloit police hold news conference after sergeant was cleared in shooting. 

BELOIT (WKOW) -- On January 14, the Rock County District Attorney's office released a statement concerning the officer involved with the shooting of Jorge Bautista Almaraz.

On December 15, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. near the 1500 block of Prairie Avenue in the city of Beloit, a witness saw Almaraz "throw himself" into the side of the their vehicle, fall down, and begin to walk away.

The witness attempted to communicate with Almaraz, but he did not respond and continued walking away.

Beloit Police Sgt. Shannon Dykstra stopped to check on the accident, and her body camera captured the following interactions with Almaraz. 

Sgt. Dykstra tried to communicate with Almaraz to check his welfare, and Almaraz looked at her and continued to walk away.

Sgt. Dykstra then requested additional units as she attempted to talk to Almaraz again, believing he was having a "mental health issue."

When Sgt. Dykstra tried to talk to Almaraz again to check on his welfare, Almaraz lunged forward and grabbed Sgt. Dykstra's duty weapon, which was still in its holster.

Almaraz got a hold of Sgt. Dykstra's weapon, and the two began to struggle over the weapon.

Sgt. Dykstra then pushed Almaraz away, drew her weapon, and told Almaraz to get on the ground.

Almaraz ignored the commands and continued to run and lunge at Sgt. Dykstra as she continued to back away and give verbal commands.

Almaraz lunged at Sgt. Dykstra a final time, forcing her to fire her weapon twice, striking Almaraz.

Almaraz was transported to the Mercy Hospital in Janesville, Wisconsin, where he was treated for his injuries.

Almaraz was released from the hospital and subsequently charged with attempting to disarm a peace officer and criminal damage to property.

After reviewing the reports, the body camera footage and photos of the incident, and the witness statements, the Rock County District Attorney stated that Almaraz was shot as a result of his own actions and that Sgt. Dykstra acted lawfully and in accordance with her duty as a sworn law enforcement officer, protecting her life and the lives of nearby civilians.

The criminal case is pending until January 26, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.

Due to the fact that the case is still pending, the Rock County District Attorney will have no further comments about the case, and any investigative records such as body camera footage will not be released until the case's conclusion.

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