Officer not charged in deadly police shooting in Wood County

Published: Apr. 22, 2023 at 8:56 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2023 at 4:30 PM CDT
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TOWN OF GRAND RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW) - Wood County District Attorney Craig Lambert issued his decision regarding the death of 69-year-old William Voelker, which occurred on April 21 in the Town of Grand Rapids.

The officer was not hurt. The district attorney determined there will be no criminal charges for involved law enforcement.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, at approximately 10:57 p.m. on April 21, Voelker was walking near the intersection of 32nd Street S. and Airport Avenue. When Grand Rapids Police Officer Erik Backlund made contact with him, Voelker reached for a gun that was inside his jacket.

According to body cam video obtained, Officer Backlund told Voelker he would shoot him if he pulled out the gun. Voelker said that he wanted Officer Backlund to shoot him and began to pull the gun from his jacket when Officer Backlund shot him multiple times.

After attempting lifesaving measures, Voelker died at the scene and Officer Backlund recovered Voelker’s gun.