DA: Deputy justified in fatally shooting man in Kewaunee Co.

Authorities block off Hwy. AB in the Kewaunee County Town of Franklin Aug. 22, 2017, one day after a sheriff's deputy fatally shot a person. (WLUK photo)

KEWAUNEE (WLUK) -- A sheriff's deputy will not be charged in the fatal shooting of a man in Kewaunee County.

District Attorney Andrew Naze said Tuesday that Deputy Jamie Tlachac was justified in shooting Tyler Whitmire on Aug. 21 in the Town of Franklin.

Naze said deputies were called to a home on Hwy. AB just before 8 p.m. Callers to 911 reported Whitmire had hit a woman with a hammer. The callers went on to say that Whitmire had a knife and was asking bystanders to kill him.

When deputies arrived, they saw Whitmire walking in a front yard and driveway, holding a knife in one hand and a cellphone in the other. Naze says Whitmire walked into the road, stopped for a moment and faced officers, who began to approach. The officers asked Whitmire to come talk to them, while telling bystanders to back up, away from Whitmire.

Naze says Whitmire crossed the road, then, with his knife raised over his head, ran at Deputy Jordan Salentine. While Salentine tried to backpedal, Deputy Jamie Tlachac fired his gun at Whitmire. Officers then gave Whitmire emergency medical assistance. He died on the roadway, Naze said.

"Without the intervention of Deputy Tlachac, I firmly believe that Deputy Salentine would have suffered great bodily harm or even death from the imminent knife attack," said Naze.

Naze showed dashcam video during a news conference Tuesday, which showed Whitmire approaching Salentine and Tlachac firing at Whitmire, who falls to the ground.

According to documents provided by the state Division of Criminal Investigation (CAUTION: includes graphic images), the woman who was hit with the hammer told agents she and Whitmire had met at a recreational trail to smoke marijuana earlier in the day. After they shared the marijuana, the woman said Whitmire told her he was scared and that he did not feel well. He began acting strangely and "did not seem to be with it," the woman said. She said she and others had previously smoked marijuana from the same batch without feeling any ill effects. She allowed investigators to test the rest of the batch.

The woman said she planned to drive him to a restaurant in the hopes that some food would make him feel better. In the vehicle, the woman said Whitmire twice reached over and grabbed the steering wheel, nearly steering them into oncoming traffic. When the woman pulled over, she said Whitmire grabbed a hammer, got out and started smashing windows. Eventually, the woman said, Whitmire began attacking her with the hammer. When a passerby stopped to offer help, the woman said Whitmire ran toward a nearby house.

By this point, the woman said two men who were in the area tried to calm Whitmire. That was when police showed up.

Naze said he spoke with Whitmire's family, who said his actions were out of character for him.

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