By Shereen Siewert

CRANDON — Police have released the name of the Forest County Sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a man wanted in Texas on child sex assault charges as Craig A. Justice, a 21-year veteran of the department.

According to a Wisconsin Department of Justice news release, Justice also spent one year with the Crandon Police Department. Justice has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation, per the sheriff’s department policy.

DOJ officials said the man Justice shot, 31-year-old Brandon O. Cude, was wanted on two felony warrants in the state of Texas, both for sexually assaulting a child. Justice stopped to assist Cude after a passer-by reported a stranded driver on the roadway. As a matter of routine, Justice ran a record check on Cude, who was driving the vehicle.

“When Mr. Cude realized the deputy learned about the two outstanding warrants, Mr. Cude pointed a shotgun at the deputy,” the release stated. “The deputy fired his weapon at the driver in response.”

Cude died at the scene despite lifesaving efforts by Justice and other responders, police said.

The Jan. 4 incident is being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice and is the second officer involved shooting in less than three months in Forest County. On Oct. 22, Officer Ryan Wilson of the Crandon Police Department fatally shot Dexter Baxter during a theft investigation and related traffic stop. Investigators later determined Wilson acted appropriately when the shooting took place.

DCI is continuing to collect evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Forest County District Attorney when the investigation concludes.

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