KENOSHA (WITI) -- Kenosha police have identified the officer who pulled the trigger in this weekend's fatal officer-involved shooting incident, and the man who was shot and killed. Police say the officer in this case was involved in another non-fatal officer-involved shooting incident earlier this month.
The man who was shot and killed on Saturday, March 14th near 22nd Avenue and 56th Street in Kenosha has been officially identified by police as 26-year-old Aaron Siler.
Police say the officer who shot him is Officer Pablo Torres -- an 18-year veteran of the department.
The incident began just after 9:30 a.m. Saturday, when officers attempted to arrest Siler -- wanted on an active felony probation and parole warrant. Siler initiated a vehicle pursuit with officers, and after crashing his vehicle, he took off running. Officers pursued Siler on foot, and when Siler was confronted by Officer Torres, police say Siler armed himself with a weapon.
Officer Torres then fired his handgun -- striking and killing Siler.
Police say there were citizen witnesses to this officer-involved shooting.
"The first thing you hear is an officer say 'put down, get down,' and he said it twice, and I heard six shots after that," a witness said.
Police said this in a statement to FOX6 News regarding Saturday's officer-involved shooting:
The Kenosha Police Department understands the toll this incident has taken on the family, the community, the involved officers and their families and the department. These tragedies can be avoided if subjects would simply stop and follow the commands of the officers. As is required by state law and pursuant to police department protocol the investigation is being handled by an outside agency.
Officer Torres had just returned to work on the day of the shooting of Aaron Siler. He was on leave as a result of a previous officer-involved shooting.
On March 4th, police say a man advanced on officers armed with two knives. That man was shot by Officer Torres.
It happened in the 1500 block of 84th Street shortly before noon.
Kenosha police say just before 11:45 a.m., they received a 911 call from a woman reporting her husband had gone into the garage to “kill himself.”
Officers arrived at the home and found the 64-year-old man armed with two knives. He was seated inside a running vehicle in the garage.
Police say the man failed to follow orders to drop the knives, and he began to advance on the officers. In order to stop the threat, Officer Torres fired one round at the man. The man was hit in his abdomen. He was taken to the hospital for treatment, and he was expected to survive.
The man's wife tells FOX6 News he is a Vietnam veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.
"I was screaming 'my husband is a veteran. Don't hurt my husband.' They know he had a mental problem. He was not out to hurt them -- only himself," the man's wife said.
Officer Torres was placed on administrative leave following this incident. After being on leave and attending annual in-service training, Torres returned to work on Saturday, March 14th -- the day Aaron Siler was shot and killed.
Members of Aaron Siler's family said Monday they're in disbelief to learn Officer Torres was involved in a shooting 10 days prior to the shooting that killed Siler.
"I don`t even think he should be on the force right now. I think he should be suspended without pay because that`s just ridiculous," Siler's aunt Tina Kramer said.
"I remembered that guy`s name from that first time. I remembered the name -- so nobody had to tell me he did it before," Siler's grandfather Dennis Jurgens said.
The officer-involved shooting of Aaron Siler came up at Monday's City Council meeting in Kenosha -- when Michael Bell, whose son was killed by Kenosha police in 2004 questioned why Officer Torres was back on duty Saturday. Siler's family wonders if it had been a different officer, whether the outcome would be the same.
"There's only one Aaron. He'll be missed," Kramer said.
Per a new Wisconsin law regarding the investigation of officer-involved deaths, the Wisconsin Department of Justice has been tasked with investigating both of these incidents.
The shooting of Aaron Siler is the seventh officer-involved shooting in Wisconsin since January 5th. Four of these incidents have been fatal -- one in Milwaukee, one in Green Bay, one in Madison and this one in Kenosha.