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New information released in officer-involved shooting in the Town of Geneva

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Kris Kristl

Kris Kristl

WALWORTH COUNTY -- Authorities released new information on Friday, February 10th related to the officers-involved in the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Kris Kristl. The incident happened around 7:45 p.m. on February 2nd in the Town of Geneva.

Officials revealed Kristl was the suspect of the reckless driving complaint. He is alleged to have displayed a weapon during this incident. Two officers discharged their weapons during this incident.

Officials also say the law enforcement officers involved in this case are Deputy Jesse Smith of the Walworth County Sheriff's Office and Officer Robert Rayfield of the Elkhorn Police Department.

Deputy Jesse Smith, Officer Robert Rayfield

Deputy Jesse Smith, Officer Robert Rayfield

Family and friends of Kristl say what transpired does not sound like the person they knew.

"At first, I didn't believe. It was kind of hard to comprehend that something like that could happen," said Vinny Gloeckler, a friend of Kristl. "We're all looking for answers. I have never known Kris to be armed."

Court records show Kristl had several run-ins with the law. Ten years ago, he was found guilty on a felony drug charge. In the time since, Kristl has been convicted of misdemeanor charges including obstructing an officer.

Those closest to Kristl say the good memories far outweigh the bad.

"Anybody who knew Kris would always know him for his laugh. And how he was with his friends. There was never a time that you needed something, you needed his help, that he wouldn't be there. He'd probably be the first one there," Gloeckler said.

Town of Geneva shooting incident

Town of Geneva shooting incident

Meanwhile, authorities say Deputy Smith has been with the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office for two years and has a total of six years of law enforcement experience. Officer Rayfield has been with the Elkhorn Police Department for approximately eight years. Both officers have been placed on administrative duty, which is standard practice with these types of incidents.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is continuing as the lead agency in this investigation.


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