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The La Crosse District Attorney’s Office determined Tuesday that the use of force by a La Crosse police officer in an August shooting was justified.

La Crosse police officers responded to a domestic disturbance on Aug. 3 on South Ninth Street near Cass Street when both the suspect, Allen Kruk, and one of the responding officers, Dustin Darling, were shot during an altercation. Kruk had a felony warrant for his arrest at the time of the call, according to a statement by the La Crosse Police Department.

After reviewing body camera footage, as well as the testimonies made by officers on the scene, the district attorney’s office determined the actions of Darling were reasonable acts of self-defense.

Dustin Darling

Darling

Allen Kruk

Kruk 

Darling, a member of the La Crosse Department since 2013, will not be charged with any criminal offenses in connection with the shooting, according to a press release by La Crosse District Attorney Tim Gruenke.

An investigation by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation indicates that Darling grabbed onto Kruk’s left arm, and Kruk immediately began to pull away and began to turn his body toward Darling raising his right arm, according to the press release. As Kruk was raising his right arm, Darling recalled seeing a silver handgun with a large barrel in Kruk’s right hand. The video confirms this, according to the press release.

Kruk continued to turn toward Darling and pointed the muzzle of the handgun at the officer. Darling immediately disengaged with Kruk and backpedaled to create space.

Darling began to shoot the suspect while backing up. As he did, Darling was shot by Kruk in his ballistic vest near the chest area, according to the press release.

While backpedaling, Darling felt the bullet strike the right side of his chest. Darling thought his life was in danger, and Kruk was a threat to other responding officers as well as the children inside the residence. Darling also was concerned for the safety of Kruk’s ex-wife, according to the press release, as she remained outside and near Kruk’s location at the time Kruk shot him.

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Darling then positioned himself near the farthest rear corner of the neighboring house. Officers on scene then provided medical attention, and Kruk survived his injuries, according to the press release.

The District Attorney’s Office concluded that Darling was reasonable in his beliefs that there was an imminent danger of death or great bodily harm to himself or others due to Kruk’s actions.

Although there are still results pending from the Wisconsin State Crime Lab and toxicology results from Kruk, it does not appear those analyses would contain findings that would change the analysis of the District Attorney’s Office regarding the actions of the officer as it relates to his use of deadly force, according to the press release.

Wisconsin law allows all people, including police officers, to use deadly force in an act of self-defense if the person reasonably believed that he faced an unlawful interference that created a risk of death or great bodily harm to themselves or others, according to the district attorney’s office.

Kruk remains hospitalized. Once he’s discharged, he’ll immediately be taken to La Crosse County Jail to be booked.

District Attorney Tim Grunke said Kruk may be discharged from the hospital as early as this week.

Darling has been on administrative leave as part of the “Officer Involved Critical Incident” protocol according to a statement by the city’s Police Department.


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Data, interactive and video journalist

Elizabeth Beyer is the agriculture, data, interactive, audio and video journalist with the La Crosse Tribune.

(20) comments

LaCrosseCampers

I hope this scumbag is locked up and never sees the light of day again. We are so lucky brave men and women, like this officer, are willing to put their lives in danger, every single day, to make our community a safer place to be.

Monteee

He should get a medal.

oldhomey

Agreed, Montee

crank

The story said Kruk was hit several times but I have not read a report which described his injuries. I think it is worth noting that a police officer trained to use a firearm was not able to simply shoot the weapon out of Kruk's hand with a single, well-placed bullet and take him to jail rather than sending him to the hospital [sarcasm].



I've commented here that if I were to feel the need to own a firearm for my own protection, I would want it to hold many rounds because I'd miss more than I hit my target. Look how many shots were fired at Kruk! I'm not trying to throw shade on the officer's marksmanship, only pointing out reality. It isn't like TV and movies where the hotshot FBI agent can pick off a suspect on a nearby rooftop, hitting him and killing him instantly.


DMoney

That's precisely why I have a Glock with a 17 rnd magazine and precisely why I would have a problem on limiting capacity on stock weapons. My magazines are not modified, they are factory stock.

oldhomey

Well, crank and D, if you were called upon to stick your faces into domestic disturbances on a routine basis, or if you were called in to respond to robberies in progress, I might be more sympathetic to your wish for more firepower. I expect the only time you will have to whip out your Glock in self-defense is in your adolescent fantasies. The problem we face as a society, however, is that the NRA has created a gun culture in which it insists on more guns in society and guns with more firepower, a proliferation that is causing serious repercussions with mass shootings and, even worse, mass hysteria about the need to be armed to the teeth, causing more needless death. You think having a gun is a security blanket. It is more likely to cause you or somebody else heartache.



Your lecture, crank, on marksmanship was so enlightening. I doubt if a single soul in this dangerous world ever realized that. Thanks for sharing. You are SO public spirited.

crank

[yawn] oldhomey’s obsessive need to bicker on display again. Are you sure gun toting criminals and involuntarily celibate males with an inferiority complex who go placed to shoot unarmed people are NRA members, oldhomey?

oldhomey

crank asks the question: "Are you sure gun toting criminals and involuntarily celibate males with an inferiority complex who go placed to shoot unarmed people are NRA members, oldhomey?"



Why, no, crank, I am not sure of that. I don't believe I ever suggested it, either, but your question seems to suggest that I did. It's your right to disagree with my views, but would it not be more honest of you to face down the views I actually stated and then express your objections to them? No? We all knew that, already, from your past dishonest and unethical conduct on these boards. If you need verification of your dishonesty and unethical behavior, let me know, and I will supply it for you in your own words.



As for my obsessive dickering, crank, the last I knew about these comment boards is that they were created so that we each could express our own views and debate the views expressed by others if we thing their views are wrong. Is that bickering? Then I am guilty of it, and so is everybody else who appears here, including yourself.

DMoney

I hope to God you are right, regarding probably never having to use it. If not, it will sit idle Inca secure spot, just in case. Knowing that I'm not purely a victim of a home intruder is indeed a major security blanket. I can't imagine being at the mercy of a crazy person. How can you?

oldhomey

How about the other two guns you said you own, D? Is one for your wife and one for your daughters so that you can hold off the criminal hordes descending on this country and your home specifically? Are three guns enough for you, or are you contemplating more, as the pressure grows to limit sales even more? A man can never have enough guns, says Wayne LaPierre. He gets paid handsomely to say that.

DMoney

Hunting rifle and 12 guage primary used for trap shooting but heavily modified for home defense (legally).

DMoney

*in a

Cassandra2

Facts show that weapons in the hands of amateurs are more likely to be turned against them or injure someone else. But to the ammosexuals, facts don't matter.

DMoney

The handling and use of weapons are a matter of logic and training. It's very possible for a citizen to be as proficient with a gun as a police officer or soldier. In fact, I'd support government training and testing for people with guns. As part of the background check process.

capedcrusader

But DMoney, many Republicans believe the government is trying to take guns away from people. Why would they then try to help equip more people to have them?

capedcrusader

Still waiting on you "DMoney". (my comment on 9/1).

DMoney

Of course he was justified. They are 99.8% of the time. Yet, somehow, the .02% creates social movements. Makes no sense.

Cassandra2

Nothing like making sweeping generalizations with no facts to back you up, D-Bag!

DMoney

The facts are out there CBag. Go look. Your responsibility as the person running counter to logic.

thomaslind949

I wouldn't be a cop for all the money in the world.

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