Kewaskum officer cleared after fatally shooting suspect during deadly home invasion

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KEWASKUM, Wis. (CBS 58) --- The Washington County District Attorney officially cleared the officer involved in the fatal police shooting of suspected gunman Nicholas Pingel.

Pingle, 30, is accused of killing two men in the Town of Kewaskum during a home invasion on Feb. 3. 

Officials say Pingel, 30, died from a gunshot discharged by a Washington County Sheriff's Office deputy. The DOJ identified the deputy involved as Lee Goodman, who is a nine-year veteran of Washington County law enforcement.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office said the deputy's actions were officially cleared as a justifiable homicide due to self-defense and the defense of others, including law enforcement.

"The district attorney determined the deputy was acting within the scope of the law by protecting himself and others when he used deadly force," WCSO said in a statement.

The deputy had been on administrative leave since the incident occurred and has since returned.

Our deputy was placed in a situation that necessitated the use of deadly force in the course of his work to safeguard the community he took an oath to protect," WCSO said. "This entire incident is a tragedy on many different levels. The fact that the district attorney determined the deputy’s actions were clearly necessary, justified and authorized under law, reaffirms the deputy stopped further victimization of innocent citizens that afternoon."

Pingle shot and killed 72-year-old Ray Engelking and 77-year-old Carl Halvorsen. 

Officials say Pingel broke into Engelking’s home and there was a struggle. Pingel shot Engelking with his own gun. Pingel then made his way Halvorsen’s home—which was a few doors down. Officials say Pingel shot and killed him with a shotgun he stole from Halvorsen’s house.

WCSO said it will conduct its own independent internal investigation and tactical debrief to determine what the department could have improved on. 

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