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A La Crosse man was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide Friday after he was accused of shooting a police officer with a stolen handgun last month.

Allen C. Kruk, 34, also was charged with theft of movable property, possession of methamphetamine and felony bail jumping in La Crosse County Circuit Court. He faces up to 65 years in prison if convicted.

The charges stem from an incident Aug. 3 on South Ninth Street near Cass Street. Both Kruk and La Crosse Police Officer Dustin Darling were shot during the altercation.

Allen C. Kruk

Kruk

Dustin Darling

Darling

According to the criminal complaint, Darling, who had no history with Kruk, responded to a domestic-disturbance complaint at Kruk’s ex-wife’s residence. The woman told officers Kruk, who had a warrant for his arrest in a case where he was accused of possession of methamphetamine, was there without her permission to see her children and refused to leave.

When Darling arrived, the woman talked Kruk into going outside the residence, but Kruk turned back when he saw him. According to the complaint, “Officer Darling attempted to prevent Allen from returning inside where there were children.”

Darling can be seen on his body camera video grabbing Allen’s left arm. In response, Allen raises his right hand, in which he’s holding a .45-caliber handgun later identified as one stolen in Monroe County.

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Darling disengaged and shot Kruk while backing up to take cover behind a neighboring building, then was struck by the bullet in the right side of his chest, which was stopped by his bulletproof vest, according to the complaint. Darling believed his life was in danger and was concerned about other responding officers and the children inside, according to the complaint.

Both Darling and Kruk were taken for medical attention. Darling was released later that day, and Kruk remained hospitalized until he was transferred to the La Crosse County Jail last week.

The La Crosse District Attorney’s Office has determined that the use of force by Darling was justified.

On Aug. 4, a Sparta man reported that his Springfield .45-caliber handgun and gun safe had been stolen within the past two weeks. The serial number on the gun used in the shooting matched the one stolen from the Sparta man. His daughter, Taylor Stolpa, 20, told Sparta investigators that she was friends with Kruk and that they had previously attempted to defraud a bank by forging another woman’s signature.

Stolpa was arrested and charged in Monroe County with forgery in writing, uttering a forgery, misappropriate identification information to obtain money, two counts of misdemeanor bail jumping, possession of THC and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kruk remains jailed on a $50,000 cash bond and will be back in court Sept. 24.

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Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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City government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

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