DCI agent charged with recklessly endangering safety in Quadren Wilson shooting
MADISON, Wis. — An officer with the Wisconsin Department of Justice has been charged for his role in a shooting that injured 38-year-old Quadren Wilson on Madison’s far east side in early February.
Mark Wagner, a law enforcement officer with DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation, is now facing one count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, according to online court records.
Wagner made his initial appearance in Dane County court Thursday morning; during the hearing, the court commissioner set his bond at $500, which Wagner would only have to pay if he misses a court date or violates the conditions of his release.
During the course of their investigation into the Feb. 3 incident, Dane County Sheriff’s Office officials determined that two DCI agents — Wagner and Nathan Peskie — fired their weapons during the incident. No charges had been filed against Peskie as of 1:45 p.m.
In response to the charges against Wagner, Attorney General Josh Kaul said his office will not comment on the facts of the case as it moves through the court system.
“DOJ will not be weighing in on the facts of this case as it moves through the judicial system in order to avoid having any possible impact on the outcome,” Kaul said in a media release. “DOJ is evaluating this matter internally and will continue to do so to the extent possible without interfering with the ongoing case.”
According to details from the criminal complaint filed against him, Wagner — who was carrying a ballistic shield and handgun while approaching Wilson’s car — fired two rounds at the vehicle. In an interview with investigators, Wagner said he saw Wilson start to move both hands up while Wagner was outside of Wilson’s driver-side door. In that interview, Wagner said, “I thought, ‘now he has a gun.'”
At the same time, Wagner reportedly said he heard a gunshot and felt something hit him, pushing him backward. Wagner told investigators he thought Wilson was “shooting me” and fired nearly simultaneously with the sound he interpreted as a gunshot. The complaint makes no mention of what the noise Wagner heard actually was.
Wagner then fell backward and heard three additional gunshots as he fell. Peskie, who was armed with a rifle, told investigators he fired three to five rounds at Wilson’s vehicle in rapid succession as Wagner fell.
Peskie also told investigators he saw Wilson holding what he thought was the muzzle of a gun before firing his rifle. Investigators later determined Peskie fired five rounds from his gun.
In total, Wagner and Peskie fired a total of seven rounds at Wilson and his vehicle.
During the course of their investigation though, authorities determined Wilson was unarmed at the time of the incident. According to the complaint against Wagner, the two DCI agents were the only two people to fire any guns at the scene.
Initial medical records shared by Wilson’s attorney indicated the 38-year-old suffered five wounds to his back during the incident. Details from the complaint claim Wilson’s five injuries were caused by five individual metal fragments from a single bullet.
In total, 21 law enforcement officers were involved in the incident, but authorities have not offered any clarity on why so many officers were involved in the attempted arrest.
A copy of a Department of Corrections apprehension request indicated that Wilson was wanted on a parole violation at the time, but it didn’t specify what the violation was. The apprehension request also indicated that Wilson had a history with firearms, but none were found in Wilson’s vehicle.
Wilson was sentenced to three years in prison on an unrelated drug charge earlier this year. A criminal complaint filed in that case makes no mention of the Feb. 3 incident.
Thursday’s announcement came less than a week after Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said he’d share his charging decision at some point this week. In a statement to News 3 Now, a representative from Ozanne’s office said the DA is “ethically prohibited from discussing open and/or pending investigations.”
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