Audio & video released from a deadly shootout which killed Officer Emily Breidenbach & Hunter Scheel

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The Barron County District Attorney's Office released its final report Friday in connection with an exchange of gunfire that left two police officers and a suspect dead in western Wisconsin last month, concluding the officers' use of deadly force against the suspect was "justified."

The report comes a little over a month after Chetek, Wisconsin police officer Emily Breidenbach, 32, and Cameron, Wisconsin police officer Hunter Scheel, 23, died in the line of duty after being shot by 50-year-old Glenn Perry during a traffic stop. Perry was also shot in the April 8 exchange, later dying at a local hospital from a gunshot wound to the leg.

"Officer Breidenbach and Officer Scheel exhibited unimaginable courage on the afternoon of April 8, 2023," the statement read, adding the officers "acted lawfully in self-defense and defense of others, and were privileged in using deadly force."

The report goes on to say the AR-15 rifle Perry used in the shooting that day, in addition to several other firearms he kept both inside his home and vehicle, were obtained legally. In the days following the shooting, law enforcement determined Perry did not have any previous gun violations or citations, but had an established "animosity toward law enforcement and government in general."

Breidenbach was on routine patrol in Chetek on the afternoon of April 8 when she encountered Perry in his vehicle and learned there was an active warrant for his arrest. Scheel, on duty at the time in Cameron, answered Breidenbach's call for backup while she communicated to dispatch that the officers would wait to stop Perry's vehicle until he entered the city of Cameron.

When the vehicles stopped, authorities say Breidenbach opened the driver's side door of her squad vehicle and positioned herself behind it, drawing her firearm and yelling commands at Perry. The report says that's when Perry opened his door, stepped out with the automatic weapon, and opened fire. Investigators determined Breidenbach got two shots off before she was struck.

Scheel, according to the report, was approaching Perry's vehicle on its rear passenger side when Breidenbach was hit. Scheel radioed in a report of "shots fired" before taking cover behind his squad vehicle and exchanging gunfire with Perry. As Perry advanced toward Scheel, the report says Scheel tried to maneuver himself around his squad but was ultimately shot multiple times before suffering fatal shots at close range.

Although Perry was struck in the leg by one of the officers' bullets, he was initially able to walk back to his vehicle before falling to the ground. Attempting to stand, Perry again fell to the ground as additional squads arrived. While officers at the scene described seeing Perry suffer significant blood loss from his injury, it was later determined that the bullet perforated the femoral artery in his right leg.

The report said the entire exchange with Breidenbach and Scheel was over in approximately 45 seconds, with another minute and 35 seconds passing before Perry fell to the ground by his vehicle. The report concluded that had Perry remained able, he likely would have caused "great bodily harm" or "death" to anyone directly in the line of, or caught in, potential crossfire.

"The deaths of Officer Breidenbach and Officer Scheel are a stark reminder of how police officers put their lives on the line each and every day to protect us," the report said. "The sworn duty of police officers to serve and protect should be revered whenever we remember the bravery, courage and sacrifice of Officer Breidenbach and Officer Scheel."

Under Wisconsin state statute, a person "may use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if the person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself, or others."

The same applies to police officers acting in their professional capacity, who reserve the right to act in self-defense or in the defense of others.

"The heroism of Officer Breidenbach and Officer Scheel saved countless lives and will never be forgotten," the report said.

A week after the officers were killed, their family, friends and community said goodbye with a funeral service and procession, before laying them to rest.

And on Thursday, May 18, law enforcement agencies throughout Hennepin County honored a total of 67 fallen colleagues outside Minneapolis City Hall by reading their names aloud.

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