Tribe: Deputy fatally shoots teen on Wisc. reservation

Gretchen Ehlke
Associated Press

Milwaukee — A sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a 14-year-old boy on a Lake Superior Chippewa reservation in northern Wisconsin, its tribal chairman said Thursday.

Bad River Band Chairman Robert Blanchard said 8th-grader Jason Pero was killed Wednesday in Odanah by an Ashland County sheriff’s deputy. Blanchard said he has not heard directly from sheriff’s officials about why Pero was shot and he questioned why the deputy had to take the teen’s life.

“This is a tragedy that should not have happened. There’s other ways to do things than to pull out a gun and shoot him,” Blanchard said.

The Ashland County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that its dispatchers received a call about a male subject walking down the street armed with a knife about 11:40 a.m. A responding deputy fired shots, striking the suspect who was treated at the scene but died at a hospital. The statement did not provide the age or name of the victim, and didn’t name the deputy involved.

Sheriff’s officials said the deputy was not injured and referred further questions on the shooting to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is investigating. The Department of Justice said it would not comment beyond the sheriff’s office release.

Blanchard said Pero came from a good family and attended Ashland Middle School, where counsellors are being made available to students Thursday to help them deal with their grief.

“It’s hard to talk about it without getting emotional,” the chairman said.