The Wisconsin Department of Justice has released the names of the three Madison police officers involved in a fatal shooting Sunday night on the Southwest Side.
Sgt. Ryan Gibson, Officer Sonny Martinez and Officer Justin Nelsen were put on paid leave after the shooting in the 6500 block of Raymond Road.
The officers responded to a report of a man firing a gun. When they arrived, 63-year-old Dean G. Thomas fired at the officers, the Department of Justice said. The officers fired back, and Thomas was hit. He later died at a hospital. The officers were not injured.
The officers were not injured.
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Jim Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, said the officers involved are “voluntarily cooperating with the investigation” of the shooting by the Justice Department’s Division of Criminal Investigation. The WPPA is representing the officers.
“We’re confident that they did the right thing and the investigation will demonstrate that these officers had no alternative, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a tragic outcome,” Palmer said.
Palmer said he was not aware of any similar incidents in which the officers have been involved.
“Frankly, it would be irrelevant if they had been,” Palmer said. “They were put in a situation where they had no choice.”
Gibson has been with the Madison Police Department for 18 years. Martinez has been with the department for 11 years and Nelsen five years.
Once the investigation is complete, the Dane County district attorney will decide if the officers will face any charges. The officers would presumably return to work if the DA finds their actions were justified, Palmer said.