Kewaunee Sheriff’s deputy involved in fatal shooting had prior gun incident
KEWAUNEE- A Kewaunee County Sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a 22-year-old man Aug. 21 resigned in 2008 after firing an assault rifle in his home while intoxicated.
Deputy Jamie A. Tlachac has been on paid administrative leave since shooting Tyler Whitmire of Luxemburg. Officers were called at 7:55 p.m. Aug. 21 to an area about 2 miles south of State 29, on County AB, where they found Whitmire threatening a woman and nearby residents with a knife. Three other officers at the scene, Sheriff’s Sgt. Dustin E. Smidle, deputy Jordan D. Salentine and Kewaunee Police officer Brian D. Gale, are also on paid leave.
According to a criminal complaint, Tlachac was drunk at his home when he fired two shots from an assault rifle he owned. No one was present and Tlachac reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Department. He had been working as a Kewaunee County jailer and dispatcher since 2005.
Tlachac resigned from his position and ended up pleading no contest to a misdemeanor count of possession of a firearm while intoxicated and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. He received a sentence of 60 days in jail stayed for the intoxication charge and two years of probation withheld for the disorderly conduct. A felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety was dismissed but read into the record.
The 2008 criminal complaint states that Tlachac was at home after spending most of the day drinking when he fired two rounds from the rifle at 5:20 a.m. on Aug. 19, 2008.
Tlachac told investigators he had no recollection of firing the weapon or what he was shooting at.
One round hit a patio door frame. There was no sign of the other round hitting the house, the complaint states.
Law enforcement became involved when a neighbor called Eric Zellner, the Sheriff Department’s on-duty officer. Zellner unloaded the rifle and two other weapons and turned them over to the neighbor, and advised Tlachac to file a police report.
Tlachac’s blood-alcohol content was .16 percent, according to a breath test conducted a noon that day, the complaint states
The incident was investigated by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the state Department of Justice, Tlachac worked as a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder after resigning from the Sheriff’s Department. He worked as a patrol deputy for another law enforcement agency before he was hired by the Kewaunee County Sheriff’s Department as a jailer and dispatcher in January 2012. He was appointed to the department’s patrol division in February 2015.
Tlachac took responsibility for the 2008 incident from the start, said Kewaunee Sheriff Matt Joski, who was not sheriff at the time.
After his resignation, the Sheriff’s Department kept tabs on Tlachac to see how he moved on from the incident.
“We looked at it very closely and saw the value of bringing him back and don’t regret it for a moment,” Joski said. “He’s been a stellar employee and served our community well.”
Joski would not comment on how the officers involved in the shooting are doing.
Much like the community, those within the department are anxious for the results of the DOJ’s investigation, Joski said.
“This is something that unfortunately occurred. I’m confident in the officer’s action but are waiting for the results … we will respect the results and take appropriate action with those results,” he said.
This article originally appeared on Wisconsin: Kewaunee Sheriff's deputy involved in fatal shooting had prior gun incident