Investigation continues into police-involved shootingSuperior police remain at a loss to explain why a man shot by police on Friday acted as he did before the fatal shooting.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
Superior police remain at a loss to explain why a man shot by police on Friday acted as he did before the fatal shooting.
Authorities weren’t searching for the car Luke Daniel Anderson, 34, of Duluth was driving Friday afternoon, it wasn’t stolen, according to Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse.
So why did Anderson allegedly steal a woman’s keys while brandishing a handgun and try to take her car?
“We don’t know the answer,” LaGesse said. He did say Monday that Anderson’s car was running in the parking lot while the Duluth man took the woman’s keys. LaGesse said Anderson spent a very short amount of time in the woman’s vehicle. He could only speculate Anderson couldn’t find the right key. When he was unable to start her vehicle, Anderson ran back to his car and fled the scene.
The parking lot incident sparked a police pursuit that ended with a gunfight in the field behind Downtown Mobile Home Park, 409 N. 12th St. Anderson died at the scene.
During a news conference Saturday, LaGesse gave the following account of the fatal shooting:
Police responded to a call at 4:44 p.m. of shots fired at Walgreens, 2015 Tower Ave. That report turned out to be false, but a man carrying a handgun had approached a woman in the parking lot and demanded her car keys. She surrendered her keys, but he was unable to start her car. He ran back to the vehicle he had arrived in and fled the scene.
Soon after, officers spotted his vehicle at North 18th Street and Washington Avenue in Billings Park. When they attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver accelerated. After several minutes in pursuit, the driver abandoned his vehicle and ran through a grassy field between North 12th and Winter streets east of Birch Avenue. Officers saw he was carrying a large revolver. He ignored repeated orders to drop the weapon. As he approached the mobile home park, he turned toward officers, raising his revolver.
Officers fired multiple rounds at the man. He fell to the ground but held onto the revolver. He placed the gun under his own chin and fired it. Officers called for an ambulance and approached the man, but he began to rise and again pointed the gun at officers. They fired more shots, and the man dropped to the ground.
Superior police and fire, and Gold Cross Ambulance personnel attended to the man, later identified as Anderson, but he died at the scene.
LaGesse identified officers who fired at Anderson as Sgt. William Lear and Officer Todd Carlson, now on administrative leave pending completion of an investigation now underway by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, LaGesse said. Lear has been with the Superior police for six years and Carlson for 17.
“Our preliminary investigation … shows that the officers did everything possible to resolve this incident without the use of deadly force,” LaGesse said. “The officers were faced with a deadly threat and responded in a manner consistent with their training.”
LaGesse deferred additional question about the investigation to the justice department. He also confirmed an autopsy of Anderson was completed Monday, but results remain unavailable.
The DOJ had no new information to release on Tuesday, according to Dana Brueck, communications officer.
The Duluth News Tribune contributed to this report.