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No charges filed in Milwaukee veterans hospital shooting

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Federal police who shot a 35-year-old man near the entrance to a Milwaukee veterans hospital in July will not be charged in the death, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Journal Sentinel reports Joseph Denton Jr. was shot in the torso and foot by VA hospital police after he showed up outside the center pointing a loaded shotgun at an employee and others and refusing repeated orders to put down his gun.

“The officers responded to Mr. Denton’s demonstrations of potential lethal force with an appropriate level of force in return to stop Denton from causing death or great bodily harm to the officers or other citizens in the hospital area,” Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm wrote in a Sept. 21 letter closing the case.

The letter was not released until Monday, in response to an open-records request from the newspaper.

Video footage released Monday as part of the request shows Denton hiding behind bushes outside the hospital and pointing his shotgun at an employee. He then stumbles toward the entrance of the ER, erratically turning to aim the shotgun at officers surrounding him from a distance.

The officers involved in the shooting were a 50-year-old man who had been with the VA Police Department for about four years and a 38-year-old man who had been employed by the department for more than 17 years. Both had been placed on administrative duty while the Milwaukee Police Department investigated the death.

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