Families Of St. Croix County Deputy Katie Leising Mourn Her De@th

Family members of law enforcement officers are grieving the loss of St. Croix County Deputy Kaitie Leising. On Saturday night, the 29-year-old officer was shot just outside Glenwood City, Wisconsin, and died at a hospital.

She was responding to a call about a probable drunk driver stranded in a ditch. According to investigators, the suspect, 34-year-old Jeremiah Johnson, did not react to Leising’s requests for a field sobriety test.

He eventually pulled out a firearm and shot her, and she returned fire. Johnson was later discovered dead from a gunshot wound in the surrounding woods.

Tire tracks show where Deputy Leising was shot, and a growing memorial honoring her life and service is just a few feet away.

“It was concerning given that we’re a small community here, and you don’t really hear of that in our area,” said Glenwood City resident Laurie Matoska.

Matoska and her family were driving home from dinner on Saturday evening when they encountered a traffic closure on Highway 128. They were instructed to turn around because an active shooter was in the neighborhood. She later discovered that Deputy Liesing was the victim.

“Concerning law enforcement. How many are we going to lose because they’re afraid of their jobs, and they’re not going to go home to their families?” Matoska said.

It’s the same question Melissa Olson has been asking. “It’s just sad and needs to stop,” Olson said.

Olson and a buddy stopped by the memorial to leave flowers. She has two daughters who work as officers for the sheriff. One of them responded to the site on Saturday night with Deputy Leising.

Families Of St. Croix County Deputy Katie Leising Mourn Her De@th

“My daughter was telling me how solid Kaitie was. She was a very solid officer—a very good person. Very sweet,” Olson said.

Before joining St. Croix County last year, Leising was a deputy in Pennington County, South Dakota.

“Things like this happen from bad people. Bad people. And I feel that they do not take responsibility for their own actions and they take somebody else,” Olson said.

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Olson stated that she and the community are willing to go to any length to assist police authorities. She also adds she expects the same from elected officials. Meanwhile, she’ll try not to be concerned the next time her daughters go on patrol.

“Every time they go on their shift and I talk to them, you know, ‘I love you. Stay safe and I’ll talk to you later.’ And they’re very good about checking in with me, which eases your mind,” Olson said.

Leising is the third law enforcement officer killed in Wisconsin in recent weeks. Officers Emily Breidenbach and Hunter Scheel were slain during a traffic stop in April.

And Deputy Josh Owen was shot and killed in western Minnesota while responding to a domestic call last month. He died on his 44th birthday.

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