DA clears Beloit officers who shot at homicide suspect

Suspect charged with first-degree reckless homicide
DA clears Beloit officers who shot at homicide suspect
Officers David Elrod and Amy Copeland

Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary has cleared two officers involved in the shooting of a man suspected of killing a woman with his car.

Beloit police said Sheila Rosenbaum, 47, of Beloit, died after a man struck and killed her while trying to flee officers May 11.

According to police, officers went to a residence on 10th Street in connection to an unwanted person complaint. When they arrived they attempted to take the suspect, Christopher Rutherford, 40, of Beloit, into custody.

However, police said Rutherford was able to get away from officers and fled in a vehicle. Police said as he was pulling away Rutherford struck Rosenbaum while police fired a number of rounds from their duty weapons at the fleeing vehicle.

Police said officers tried to perform lifesaving efforts on Rosenbaum. However, Rosenbaum died at an area hospital after she was taken there by Beloit paramedics.

Police said Rutherford crashed his vehicle a short distance away in the 800 block of Roosevelt. He tried to run, but officers caught up to him in a backyard of a home in the 700 block of 9th Street, according to Beloit police. That’s when it was discovered Rutherford had suffered a gunshot wound. He was also taken to an area hospital for treatment.

O’Leary said Officers David Elrod and Amy Copeland acted lawfully when they fired on Rutherford. He said they were trying to protect their lives and the lives of people around them.

O’Learly also commended Timothy Baars, who police said subdued Rutherford until police arrived to take him into custody.

Rutherford is charged with first-degree reckless homicide.