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Prosecutors clear deputy in fatal shooting in Jackson County

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors say no charges will be filed against a Jackson County sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a man in October.

The Jackson County district attorney’s office said Wednesday that Deputy Justin Wathke reasonably acted in self-defense.

Authorities say Wathke was responding to a call about a domestic incident and tried to pull over 27-year-old Lucas DeFord. The suspect kept going and drove to the home of the victim near Black River Falls.

Investigators say DeFord ran to the deputy’s squad car window and pointed a gun at Wathke’s head. Wathke fired two shots at DeFord through his driver’s side window.

DeFord died at the scene. Authorities say he was holding a black gun that looked like a semi-automatic handgun, but it turned out to be a pellet or BB gun.

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