2 Racine police officers injured in shooting, suspect in custody

NOW: 2 Racine police officers injured in shooting, suspect in custody

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Racine police responded to a domestic incident on Tuesday, Jan. 17 around 10:46 p.m. near West and Gillen. Two officers were shot and injured during the incident. They are facing non-life-threatening injuries.

Police said they responded to the scene after a 26-year-old man shot several rounds in the air after a woman was put out of the residence, while her two children were still inside the home.

While attempting to contact the man at the back door, a three-year-old girl appeared and was escorted to safety. Police say a one-year-old inside the house was also safely reunited with the mother. While officers attempted to communicate with the man, shots rang out.

"Shortly afterwards the subject presented himself at the back of the door and threatened to shoot officers. At that point officers were able to visually confirm that he was armed with some type of long gun," said Racine Police Chief Maurice Robinson.

The man shot at four officers, Sgt. Tom DeBaker, Sgt. Joe Burinda, Officer Dan Wasmund and Officer Ben Eiden. The man shot and injured Sgt. Joe Burinda, who sustained a shoulder injury, and Officer Ben Eiden, who sustained facial injuries.

It is believed that the injuries were a result of birdshot pellets.

Officers returned fire with patrol rifles and a handgun. The suspect was not struck.

An emotional Chief Robinson thanked his men for their work.

The man later reappeared at the back of the house, unarmed, and was convinced to surrender. He was taken to an area hospital for medical evaluation and treatment before being transported to the Racine County Jail.

Criminal charges are pending for multiple counts of attempted homicide, recklessly endangering safety and domestic violence disorderly conduct.

The police department says Sgt. Burinda has served for 10 years and Sgt. DeBaker has served for over eight years. Officer Wasmund has served for over three years and Officer Eiden has served for one year.

Per protocol, the officers will be on a period of administrative leave.

Meantime, Racine Mayor Cory Mason released the following statement on the incident: 

“I am grateful for the heroic actions of Sgt. Joe Burinda and Officer Ben Eiden while responding to a domestic incident in Racine last night.

They were working under extraordinary circumstances to keep everyone, including two children, safe. These brave officers went above and beyond the call of duty as they remained on scene after being injured. I wish them a swift recovery. We all must do what we can to support the officers and their families as they recover from this shooting.

I am also thankful that the Racine Police Department was able to take the suspect into custody. This incident is a reminder of the risk that officers take to keep our community safe.”
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