By Shereen Siewert

MADISON — The Crandon Police officer who fatally shot a man during an Oct. 22 traffic stop was justified in his actions, according to a Wisconsin Department of Justice report released today.

DCI has been investigating the fatal shooting of Dexter David Anthony Baxter that took place on the evening at the Crandon Police Department’s request.

According to the final report, Officer Ryan Wilson was investigating a reported theft when he pulled over a Chevrolet Camaro at about 10:34 p.m. on the night of Oct. 22 in Crandon. Both people inside the vehicle were considered suspects in the theft of a television, police said.

Baxter, who was a passenger in the vehicle, initially misidentified himself to Wilson, then threw the ignition key and lunged out of the Camaro, attacking the officer, according to the report.

During the struggle that ensued, Baxter put Wilson in a headlock, tried to strangle him and gouged at his eyes while attempting to grab Wilson’s firearm, according to the report. That’s when Officer Wilson shot Baxter three times.

Baxter died at a Rhinelander hospital a short time later.

DCI officials say they relied on body cam and dash cam footage, along with witness statements, in determining Officer Wilson’s use of force was justified.

Officer Wilson has been on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation, as is protocol in such situations. Wilson has worked in law enforcement since May 14, 2014 and has been employed by the Crandon Police Department for nearly two years, according to the DOJ.

Photo: Courtesy of WJFW
Dexter Baxter Investigative Synopsis Report