No charges against deputy in fatal Grant County shooting, DA says

No charges against deputy in fatal Grant County shooting, DA says

The deputy who shot and killed an armed man last month in a Grant County town will not face charges, the district attorney said.

Grant County Deputy Andrew Smith shot and killed Roger B. Helgerson Jr. in Millville on Sept. 1 with his duty rifle.

Grant County DA Lisa Riniker said in a letter dated Oct. 18 that Helgerson had “made reference to having a shootout with law enforcement in reference to a foreclosure action.” With that information, Smith was armed with his department-issued rifle. After a short vehicle pursuit, Smith positioned himself behind his open squad car door and saw Helgerson getting out of his vehicle.

Smith said he observed Helgerson had a long gun and that Helgerson pointed it at Smith. Smith then shot Helgerson, according to the report.

Riniker said Smith’s account is corroborated by his squad car video. Riniker said that overgrown vegetation and the position of the squad car camera make it difficult to see, but there is a point in the video where there is an object in Helgerson’s right hand that’s pointed in the area where Smith would be.

“Given Mr. Helgerson’s act of pointing a firearm, Deputy Smith was entitled to use deadly force to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to either himself or Deputy Nemitz who was also on the scene,” Riniker wrote. “Because of that, criminal charges will not be filed against Deputy Smith.”

Sheriff Nate Dreckman said the sheriff’s office also investigated internally and determined that Smith didn’t violate any department policies in the officer-involved shooting.

Smith had been placed on administrative leave immediately after the shooting pending the outcome of the investigation, Dreckman said.