By Steve Schuster
On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Justice issued a statement that Mequon Police Officers involved in the fatal shooting of an 86-year-old man would not face criminal charges.
“Recently, Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol issued his decision regarding the death of Pietro La Licata, which occurred on May 17, 2023 in the City of Mequon, Wis. The district attorney determined there will be no criminal charges for involved law enforcement,” Wisconsin DOJ officials said in a written statement.
According to documents obtained by the Wisconsin Law Journal, Ozaukee County District Attorney Adam Gerol wrote, “a law enforcement officer may use deadly force where he has (probable) cause to believe that an armed suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or others.”
Gerol also noted there is “a common law privilege for law enforcement officers to use deadly force when making an arrest,” citing JI Criminal 884, a state statute.
To view the Wisconsin Department of Justice Department of Criminal Investigation file obtained by the Wisconsin Law Journal, please click here.
As previously reported by the Wisconsin Law Journal, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) announced in May that they were investigating an officer-involved fatal shooting in Mequon, Wis. that occurred Wednesday.
According to Wisconsin DOJ officials, at or around 3:31 p.m. on May 17, Mequon Police Officers responded to a report of shots fired on the 3100 block of Bonniwell Road in Mequon, Wis.
According to the criminal complaint, the man who was fatally shot by police was 86-year-old Pietro Lalicata. Mequon officers say he shot at his neighbor and then at police, upon their arrival on the scene.
Upon arrivals officers, a man was barricaded in a residence. The man eventually exited the residence while discharging a firearm towards police officers, Wisconsin DOJ officials said.
Mequon Police “then exchanged gunfire and struck the subject,” authorities said, noting that officers attempted to render aid afterward. However, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Law enforcement officers were not injured in this incident and there is no threat to the community, officials added.
The involved officer from the Mequon Police Department has been placed on administrative assignment, per department policy.
DCI is leading this investigation and is assisted by the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin State Crime Lab and a DCI Crime Response Specialist.
All involved law enforcement are fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation.
DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Ozaukee County District Attorney when the investigation concludes.
Pursuant to Wisconsin Statute § 175.47, in the event of the death of an individual that results directly from an action or an omission of a law enforcement officer, the ensuing investigation must be conducted by an investigative team from an independent law enforcement agency.
Wisconsin DOJ officials tell the Wisconsin Law Journal that often the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) conducts that investigation. However, it is not required that DCI conduct the investigation.