Tip Line: 414-777-5808 | newsdesk@cbs58.com

Man charged with killing Officer Hetland, DNA evidence used to identify suspect

NOW: Man charged with killing Officer Hetland, DNA evidence used to identify suspect

NEXT:

Updated: 4:12 p.m. June 28, 2019

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Charges have been filed against the suspect accused of killing Racine Police Officer John Hetland. 

Dalquavis Ward of Milwaukee was taken into custody Thursday, just one day after the officer was laid to rest. 

The 26-year-old suspect is being held at the Kenosha County Jail. He is facing three charges including first-degree intentional homicide, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to the criminal complaint, a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a mask over his face went into Teezers Tavern in Racine around 9:30 p.m. June 17. 

Witnesses said the suspect showed a gun and demanded money. The bartender started emptying the register and when the suspect was distracted, Officer Hetland, who was off-duty at the time, climbed over the bar and started to fight to stop the robbery. 

The suspect pushed Hetland and shot him in the chest. 

Investigators were able to identify Ward through DNA evidence, arresting him ten days later in Milwaukee at 28th and Wells. 

Ward will be in court Monday afternoon. 

If convicted, Ward could spend life in prison. 

-------

Updated: 10:24 a.m. June 28, 2019

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The suspect arrested in Racine Police Officer Hetland's death has been identified as 26-year-old Dalquavis Ward of Milwaukee. 

Ward is being held in the Kenosha County Jail. During a press conference Thursday evening, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said Ward was taken to jail using Officer Hetland's handcuffs. 

More than 17 law enforcement agencies worked thousands of hours to take Ward into custody, officials said. 

Officer Hetland was killed while he was off-duty at Teezers Tavern in Racine trying to prevent an armed robbery the night of June 17. Police released surveillance images of the suspect and offered a reward that grew to more than $80,000 in hopes someone would come forward with information. Funeral services for Officer Hetland were held Wednesday. 

Details of the case have not been released. 

Stay with CBS 58 on air and online for updates in this developing story. 

------

Updated: 5:58 p.m. June 27, 2019

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The man believed to have shot and killed Racine Police Officer John Hetland is now in custody, officials said during a press conference Thursday evening. 

Authorities did not release details about the suspect but Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said after getting information from the Crime Lab, they were able to arrest the suspect in Milwaukee. Sheriff Beth also said the suspect was taken to jail using Officer Hetland's handcuffs. 

Hetland was killed while he was off-duty at Teezers Tavern in Racine trying to prevent an armed robbery the night of June 17. Police released surveillance images of the suspect and offered a reward that grew to more than $80,000 in hopes someone would come forward with information. 

Officials said during Thursday's press conference, more than 17 law enforcement agencies were involved with the investigation and thousands of police hours have been spent trying to find Officer Hetland's killer. 

Funeral services for Officer Hetland were held Wednesday. 

The Racine County Sheriff says this is a happy victory in what's been a somber week.

"We worked night and day," Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said. "Dozens of law enforcement agencies and dozens of law enforcement professionals wanted to see closure, wanted to see it as soon as humanly possible. So today, although a somber day, is a very proud day."

The pain of Officer Hetland's death is by no means gone, but having the suspected killer in custody was a consolation for friends of Hetland Thursday night.

"This is a blessing," Hetland's friend Parrish Williams said. "That's a gift from God that this person is in custody, behind bars.

A collection of law enforcement announced the arrest next to Hetland's memorial at the police department.

The man who so far has only been publicly identified by a photo was taken into custody in Milwaukee. 

"He was wearing Officer Hetland's handcuffs," said Sheriff David Beth. "That's how he was taken to jail and that part feels good."

The Racine Police Chief praised his officers for how their dignified response to the tragedy honored their fallen colleague.

"Obviously I'm pleased with the news that broke tonight," Chief Art Howell said. "But I'm not happy, because it should've never happened."

------

Posted: 4:51 p.m. June 27, 2019

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A suspect is in custody in connection with the shooting death of Racine Police Officer John Hetland, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department. 

Hetland was off duty at Teezers Tavern in Racine on June 17 when an armed robber came in demanding money. Hetland tried to prevent the armed robbery but was shot and killed. Police released surveillance images of the suspect to try and get someone to come forward, even offering a reward of more than $80,000 for information leading to an arrest. 

A press conference will be held at 5:30 Thursday evening. 

Stay with CBS 58 on air and online for more information on this developing story. 

Share this article:
Save with
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

0 Comments

Post a comment
Be the first to leave a comment!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?