Crime, Law and Justice

Wisconsin authorities identify two officers, motorist dead after shooting

side by side of two police officers
Barron County, Wis., authorities released photos of Cameron police officer Hunter Scheel, age 23 (left) and Chetek police officer Emily Breidenbach, age 32 (right), killed by gunfire during a traffic stop on April 8.
Barron County, Wis.

Updated: April 10, 3:05 p.m. | Posted: April 9, 8:49 a.m.

Barron County authorities have identified two police officers shot to death over the weekend, as friends and state officials describe the anguish they and western Wisconsin communities are experiencing.

Officers Emily Breidenbach, 32, and Hunter Scheel, 23, stopped Gordon Douglas Perry, 50, Saturday “based on a warrant and to check welfare of the driver,” after someone reported “concerning behavior.”

“During the traffic stop, gunfire was exchanged,” read the statement from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Monday.

Scheel and Breidenbach were pronounced dead at the scene. Perry was taken to a hospital and later died, the department said.

Breidenbach worked for the Chetek Police Department for three years. Scheel had approximately one year with the Cameron Police Department.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Sunday “our hearts are heavy” a day after two police officers were shot to death during a traffic stop.

"Our hearts are heavy for the Chetek and Cameron police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty yesterday. Kathy and I are praying for the officers’ families, colleagues, and the Barron County community mourning this tragic loss," Evers posted on Twitter.

The deaths of the officers left the village of Cameron in shock.

“It tears it apart of course. Puts it on edge,” Cameron resident Kate King told WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. “Always wondering who to trust, what will happen around the corner. It’s a frightening thing.”

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul also expressed condolences.

“I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss today of two officers. I am thinking of their families and the Chetek and Cameron Police Departments at this incredibly difficult time,” Kaul said in a tweet late Saturday.

The Division of Criminal Investigation within the Wisconsin Department of Justice is leading the investigation and will submit a report to the Barron County district attorney when the investigation concludes, the statement said.

The village of Cameron in Barron County is 96 miles northeast of Minneapolis. Chetek, Wisconsin, is about 9 miles southeast of Cameron.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Cameron and Chetek Police Departments,” the Barron County Sheriff's Department said on Facebook.

The Marinette County Deputy Sheriff's Association said in a Facebook post: “Tonight our hearts are heavy as we send our thoughts and prayers to the Village of Cameron Police Department, the City of Chetek Police Department, the Barron County community, and the families (both blood and blue) of two officers lost in the line of duty today.”

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