Appleton, Wisconsin – Patrol officer Stephanie Wiener acted appropriately in trying to defend herself from a May 28 attack by theft suspect Marcus D. Felton, according to a review by the Green Bay Police Department.
The attack resulted in Felton wrestling away Wiener’s handgun. He shot her in the hip and then shot Andrew Maltbey, a 23-year-old Appleton man who stopped to help, in the chest before fatally shooting himself in the head, said Lt. Gary Richgels, a spokesperson for the Green Bay Police Department.
Green Bay police investigated the shooting at the request of Appleton police. The findings were reviewed by Outagamie County District Attorney Carrie Schneider on Monday.
“District Attorney Schneider found no wrongdoing on the part of the officer,” Richgels said during a press conference Wednesday.
Wiener was attacked by Felton, 23, of Appleton in the 900 block of South Kensington Drive after she attempted to stop him on the suspicion of stealing cigarettes from two nearby convenience stores.
Felton was walking on a sidewalk and didn’t comply with Wiener’s emergency lights or commands, which were given using her squad car’s public address system. At some point, Felton came toward Wiener, getting within 10 to 12 feet and causing her to get out of her squad car and draw her gun in her right hand, Richgels said.
Felton started shadowboxing in the street, motioning for Wiener to come closer to him, Richgels said. Wiener used her left hand to fire her Taser at Felton, but only one of the two probes hit him, making it ineffective. Wiener also tried to kick Felton as he got closer, but he was able to grab her gun hand.
Appleton Police Chief Todd Thomas said Wiener “was in a fight for her life” as the two fought violently for control of her handgun. He said Felton was bigger and stronger than Wiener.
“They fought with each other trying to point the barrel of the gun at the other person,” Thomas said. “Officer Wiener said she knew if he got her gun, he was going to kill her, so she was trying to point the barrel of the gun at his neck or head and shoot him, while he was trying to do the same thing to her.”
Thomas said Wiener would have been justified in shooting Felton “to stop his threat to her life.”
Maltbey had pulled up behind Wiener’s squad car. After the Taser failed, he got out and tried to help Wiener. He told investigators that Felton “was making strange gestures, and it looked like he was not in the right state of mind.”