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NEW INFORMATION: Police identify man killed in officer-involved shooting in Sparta

By: WEAU 13 News Staff Email
By: WEAU 13 News Staff Email

SPARTA, Wis. (AP) -- Authorities are releasing more details about a Sparta police officer's fatal shooting of a man last week.

Sparta Police Chief Michael Kass said Tuesday that police were called about 9:15 p.m. Friday to help remove 21-year-old John Bartholomew of Sparta from a home.

Kass says Bartholomew armed himself with knives and started threatening the caller and another family member.

When Police Sgt. Booker Ferguson arrived, Bartholomew began advancing on the officer with two knives. Ferguson shot Bartholomew after he ignored orders to drop the knives.

Bartholomew was given first aid and was taken to a Sparta hospital but died.

Ferguson is a 10-year police veteran and is on administrative leave.

The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting, with help from Sparta police and the Wisconsin State Patrol.
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SPARTA, Wis. (SPARTA POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE) --The Sparta Police Department in conjunction with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is releasing the following information regarding the Officer Involved Shooting that occurred on October 4, 2013.

On Friday, October 4,2013, at approximately 9:1S p.m. the Monroe County Communications Center received a call from 1008 S. Fairway Drive reporting a disturbance involving John Bartholomew, 21 from Sparta. The caller was initially seeking assistance in having Bartholomew removed from the home as he had been drinking and was argumentative; however, once the call was made Bartholomew armed himself with knives and started threatening the caller and another family member. Sergeant Booker Ferguson was the first officer to arrive and he was immediately confronted by Bartholomew who had left the house when he saw Sgt. Ferguson drive up.

Bartholomew was wielding two knives and advancing towards Sgt. Ferguson who had just gotten out of his squad car. Sgt. Ferguson commanded Bartholomew to drop the knives; however, he failed to do so and continued to advance towards the officer. Sgt. Ferguson then fired his handgun striking Bartholomew. Additional officers arrived shortly after the shooting and started administering first aid until relieved by personnel from the Sparta Area Ambulance Service. Bartholomew was taken via ambulance to Mayo Clinic Health System in Sparta and later succumbed to wounds received from the shooting.

DCI continues to investigate the shooting with the assistance of the Sparta Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol. Sgt. Ferguson is a decorated ten-year veteran of the Department and has been placed on Administrative Leave.


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