Janesville police release internal investigation findings into officer-involved shooting

The scene of an officer-involved shooting in Janesville

JANESVILLE, Wis. — Janesville police Chief David Moore released the findings Monday of the department’s internal investigation of an officer-involved shooting that occurred March 26.

Janesville Patrol Officer Lyle Hollingshead shot a man after the man approached police officers while wielding a hunting knife. The man, later identified as Christian A. Cargill, 27, of Owasso, Oklahoma, was traveling southbound on I-90/I-39 near Highway 14 when he went off an embankment and crashed. Dispatch told officers that the driver was out of the vehicle with a knife to his neck.

Moore said when officers arrived they found a Dodge Ram pickup and a destroyed travel trailer, where Cargill had lived for the last two years.

Following an investigation conducted by the Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation and the Rock County district attorney, Hollingshead was cleared of any wrongdoing. The Rock County District Attorney said the actions were lawful and reasonable based on facts of the investigation.

The Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation looked at all body camera and squad camera video. They found that officers asked Cargill to drop the knife 31 times, stop 11 times and to sit down nine times before being shot.

Moore said officers first used less-lethal deployments. They deployed tasers seven times, shot two 40 mm rubber-tipped rounds and used pepper spray, but all had no effect.

The Janesville Police Department started an internal investigation on April 23, finishing it on May 11. Moore said the conclusion was the use of force was consistent with policy and procedures.

Moore said from when officers arrived to the scene and when “shots fired” was heard over the radio, it was about six minutes.

Hollingshead activated his body camera after locating Cargill near the crash. According to findings from the internal investigation, others in the department did not turn on body camera footage.

Moore release two videos: one of the traffic crash and the other of Hollingshead’s body camera video. Moore noted that a majority of the video was obscured by the officer’s shoulder uniform. As he raised his arm, the video is blocked, but audio can be heard throughout.

Throughout the video, Hollingshead is asking Cargill to put down the knife. Hollingshead kept asking Cargill for his name or sit down. Officers also asked how they might be able to help him.

“Help me out, let me help you. Please let me help you out,” Hollingshead says in the video.

Hollingshead drew his firearm when he arrived on the scene and the other officer that first arrived drew his taser

After the internal investigation, several issues came to light. The following were determined to need further policy review:

  • Body camera activation
  • Distance deployments with the taser
  • 40 MM launcher training
  • Establishing one contact officers at scenes with multiple officers and agencies
  • Keep training records complete and up-to-date

Moore said the taser was in effective in this situation and they think the distance had an impact on its effectiveness. The Janesville Police Department also said they had one launching system for the 40 MM and now have eight throughout the city, so there will be more available and there will be more officer training on how to use the launchers.

Moore said that it was determined to be less effective when multiple officers were giving directions, so in the future they will make one contact so suspects have a single voice to listen to. He said they will also make sure that training dates are up-to-date internally.

Janesville police concluded Hollingshead followed department police and training. Moore said Hollingshead also used “deadly force in a proper, ethical and constitutionally appropriate manner.” They also determined other officers also followed department policy and training.