Media Conference Provides Update on Officer Involved Shooting
The following is a summary of a message provided by Chief Todd Thomas at a media briefing held at 2:30 PM on Sunday, May 21, 2017:
It is very important to point out that what I am about to give you is preliminary information based on what we have been told at this time. Some of the details may change as more becomes known. The investigators have received conflicting information from some of the individuals involved in this incident.
At approximately 1:38 AM this morning, two Appleton police officers were on foot patrol in the area of the Apple Pub (535 W. College Avenue). We encourage our officers to get out of their squad cars and have a visible presence on the avenue to provide a safe environment in our entertainment district.
The officers were on the sidewalk in the area of the Apple Pub when people started running out of the front door of that business, yelling to them that there was a man inside, with a gun, shooting people.
The officers made their way towards the doors of the business, pushing past the crowd that was fleeing the bar. A Lieutenant entered the South State Street side of the business and saw a male with a gun. The Lt. fired his weapon at the suspect before seeking cover outside of the doorway.
A team of officers entered the building to render medical aid and ensure there were no other victims in the business. A male subject was transported to a local hospital but later died. Two other adult males who were inside the bar were transported to local hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. It appears one of the males suffered a gunshot wound to his arm and the other male suffered a shoulder injury, but was not struck by gunfire.
The preliminary information we have is that there was a disturbance between two males in the bar. One of the males pulled out a gun and fired at least one round at the other male, who then wrestled with him over the gun while the crowd fled from the bar. At this point the Lt. entered the bar, running towards the gunfire as he has been trained to do, to protect the patrons, and encountered the male with a gun.
We immediately secured the scene and detained as many patrons as possible. We contacted the Green Bay Police Department and requested that they conduct the investigation for us. Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider was also contacted and advised of the incident and is in communication with the Green Bay Police Department.
A gun was recovered by the Green Bay Investigators and there were several witnesses to the incident who were interviewed. Investigators will try and locate additional witnesses, process the evidence recovered, and review any security and body camera video.
The Officer involved in the shooting is Lt. Jay Steinke. Lt. Steinke is well known on the Avenue and has worked hard to build relationships with the businesses and people who frequent the avenue. Lt. Steinke has been with the Appleton Police Department for 28 years.
It appears that Lt. Steinke encountered an active shooter situation and used his firearm to stop a threat in an extremely dynamic and chaotic situation; this is a tragic incident that all of us wish never occurred. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lt. Steinke and his family, the officers involved and their families, and the citizens involved and their loved ones.
We are not identifying any of the other individuals involved at this time so that we don’t compromise the investigative process, and out of respect for the deceased subject’s family. We want them to have time to notify their family members so they can begin to process this tragic incident and so the investigators can conduct a thorough and credible investigation to answer the questions they have about what occurred.
The investigators are still working on confirming the deceased individual’s identity and we will release his name when notifications are made to his next of kin and it is appropriate.
Once his name is released, we will not have any other comments on this incident until the investigation is completed. The Green Bay Police Department will also not comment during the investigation.
Once the investigation is complete the Green Bay Police Department will report out its findings and the report will be available for the public once the case is closed.
Chief Todd Thomas