A Madison police officer who shot and killed a man who broke into a Near East Side home last summer did not violate departmental policy on the use of force, according to the findings of an internal review released Friday.
Officer Hector Rivera shot Michael William Schumacher, 41, on June 30 as Schumacher ran toward Rivera with a garden pitchfork.
Schumacher had a history of mental illness that was known to the department, but officers at the scene did not know his identity during the incident.
In October, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne cleared Rivera of any criminal liability, following an investigation of the incident by the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation.
Rivera has been on administrative leave since the shooting and is now expected to come back to work, though he likely won’t be on patrol immediately, Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said Friday.
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Officials said Schumacher broke into a home in the 1300 block of Morrison Street. Rivera responded to the call, and armed with an AR-15 rifle from his squad car, he approached the front door, opened it and stepped back. He ordered Schumacher out of the home.
Schumacher, brandishing a pitchfork, ran at Rivera, who fired twice at Schumacher.
Rivera called for medical attention for Schumacher, but he died from three gunshot wounds, one of them believed to have been caused by a bullet fragment.
A Madison Police Department Professional Standards and Internal Affairs review summary said that under the department’s standard operating procedure, use of deadly force is authorized under certain circumstances, including self-defense, “when there is reasonable cause to believe one is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.”
The review did find, however, that Rivera violated a departmental policy by neglecting to wear his microphone during the incident. He was given counseling for the violation.