FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper just three months out of the academy died in a shootout with a bank robbery suspect also believed to have killed another motorist.
The robbery suspect also died in the shooting Tuesday evening in Fond du Lac, in eastern Wisconsin.
Authorities did not immediately identify the suspect or the motorist who was killed, but a patrol bulletin sent to law enforcement agencies identified the trooper as 21-year-old Trevor Casper. The bulletin said Casper joined the patrol in July from a class of recruits who completed training in December.
The man Casper confronted was suspected of robbing the State Bank of Florence in Wausaukee, about 130 miles to the north, around 2 p.m., Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said in a statement.
The man fired his handgun inside the bank and robbed it of an unspecified amount of cash, then fled in a bank employee’s vehicle, Sauve said.
Less than an hour later, a man believed to be in his 60s was found fatally shot on a road east of Wausaukee, alongside a still-running pickup truck, according to the sheriff. Deputies searched the area and found the bank employee’s stolen vehicle. Investigators believe the suspect shot the man then fled in yet another vehicle.
Casper spotted the suspect driving in Fond du Lac about 5:30 p.m. and followed him, Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb said. The shootout happened shortly thereafter.
Casper was a native of the small town of Kiel, about 30 miles northwest of Fond du Lac. He was a varsity wrestler and soccer player at Kiel High School and was on the prom court as a junior, Superintendent Louise Blankenheim said. He graduated in 2011.
In Fond du Lac, U.S. and state flags were at half-staff and flowers had been left at the northeast region patrol headquarters where Casper was based.
Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb said his agency, which includes the state patrol, grieved Casper’s death.
“Trooper Casper was among the group of brave men and women in the Division of State Patrol who put themselves in dangerous situations each day as they work to keep the people of Wisconsin safe,” he said in a statement. Gov. Scott Walker also issued a statement, saying Casper was killed “while bravely serving his community.”
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is working with law enforcement from Marinette County, the city of Fond du Lac, the FBI and the Wisconsin State Patrol, on the investigation.
Casper was one of two law officers to die in violent incidents Tuesday. In California, Michael Johnson, a 14-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department, was killed when a man threatening to commit suicide fired several shots at officers checking on him at his apartment.
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