Police Use of Deadly Force in Eau Claire

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March 12, 1999.

Someone staying with his girlfriend at a hotel in town had pulled a gun.

"Just as we got there," Lieutenant Karl Fischer said, "He had climbed out a window, he and she both, into a vehicle and fled."

Lieutenant Fischer chased him through town, till he was able to run the suspect off the road.

He saw the guy point the gun at himself, then at the girl.

"That puts another person in danger, so at that point, I started to shoot."

At least three other officers fired as well.

Fourteen total shots.

Five hit James Earl Brown Junior, who died later at the hospital.

"I remember seeing this guy's face and almost like you had taken a camera from far back and zoomed in on the face on a TV."

But the D.A. would later say Fischer was justified, as he was defending himself and others.

"That's something you have that gives a law enforcement officer the right to use deadly force," said CVTC Criminal Justice Chair Forrest Nutter.

The part Fischer had to learn on his own, was the aftermath.

"For months and months every place I walked, I'm kinda looking around," Fischer said.

"Wore my ballistic vest while I'm off duty."

Fisher admits, he's a little more cautious about things every March, and that every officer would respond a little differently in that situation, but given what happened on March 12th, 1999, pulling the trigger was his only choice.