By Wausau Pilot and Review Staff
Authorities have identified the man who was fatally shot by police Thursday in Wausau as 35-year-old Jack Bolinger, of Stratford.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is spearheading the investigation into the incident, which unfolded Thursday, Jan. 16 after police responded to the area of Arctic Lane and North 12th Avenue for a report of a suspect who was attempting to steal vehicles.
When police arrived and confronted Bolinger, he then fired on police and fired at a bystander inside a vehicle, according to the DOJ. A standoff ensued.
Wausau Police Chief Ben Bliven, during a Friday news conference, said officers spent 10 minutes pleading with WHOM to drop his weapon but he did not. Eventually, police opened fire, killing Bolinger.
Online court records show Bolinger has a criminal history including a 2014 conviction for possessing narcotics, a felony that would have precluded him from legally possessing a firearm. He has an additional felony conviction for retail theft, and misdemeanor convictions for possession of drug paraphernalia and operating while intoxicated.
Bolinger, formerly of Neenah, was out on bond following a December disorderly conduct arrest at the time of the shooting, according to online court records.
Police officials have faced unusual scrutiny about the shooting after a graphic video surfaced on social media that captured the final minute of the standoff, including the man’s death. But during Friday’s news conference Bliven cautioned against reaching conclusions about the officers’ actions until the investigation is complete, which is expected to take about 60 days.
DOJ officials are urging members of the public who have any video of the shooting to call DCI at 608-266-1671 to allow investigators to review the recording.
Officers with the Wausau Police Department and deputies from the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department involved in the shooting have been identified as:
- Wausau Police Officer Shawn Pierschalla, 13 years of law enforcement experience
- Wausau Police Officer Benjamin Price, 4 years of law enforcement experience
- Wausau Police Officer Michael Horejs, 3 years of law enforcement experience
- Marathon County Patrol Lieutenant Steven Denovi, 19 years of law enforcement experience
- Marathon County Deputy Sheriff James Toth, 23 years of law enforcement experience
- Marathon County Deputy Sheriff Brandon Stroik, 11 years of law enforcement experience
The involved officers from Wausau Police Department and Marathon County Sheriff’s Office have been placed on administrative leave, per department policy.