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Winnebago County DA: Menasha officer justified in fatal shooting

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Winnebago Co. Sheriff John Matz, left, and District Attorney Christian Gossett hold a news conference May 1, 2013, to discuss the April 19 fatal shooting of a man by a town of Menasha police officer. (courtesy of FOX 11).
Winnebago Co. Sheriff John Matz, left, and District Attorney Christian Gossett hold a news conference May 1, 2013, to discuss the April 19 fatal shooting of a man by a town of Menasha police officer. (courtesy of FOX 11).

OSHKOSH, WI (WTAQ) - Winnebago County authorities say a town of Menasha police officer was justified in fatally shooting a man because the victim purposely set up the situation.

At a news conference Wednesday, the Winnebago County sheriff's office investigated the shooting and the district attorney's office reviewed the findings.

66-year-old Wilson Lutz was shot and killed on April 19. The incident began when officers responded to a call at Lutz's West Calumet Street apartment.

Town of Menasha police Lt. Gary Cutler was the first to go inside the apartment. When he got there, authorities say Cutler found Lutz pointing a shotgun at him.

Cutler told Lutz to drop the weapon. When Lutz did not, authorities say Cutler shot him twice, killing him.

District Attorney Christian Gossett says Lutz brought the situation upon himself.

“Calling 911, informing them he had a loaded shotgun and that he was going to die one way or another, pointed the firearm at the lieutenant, disregarded the lieutenant’s commands to drop the weapon,” Gossett told FOX 11 in explaining the decision.

Authorities did find out after the shooting Lutz’s gun was not loaded. But Gossett says that doesn’t matter, because Lutz repeatedly told police it was.

The sheriff’s office has released 911 recordings from that day.

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