Mother foresaw tragic end for man shot by deputies
ELKHORN The mother of the man shot to death by Walworth County sheriff’s deputies early Thursday morning told a judge nine years ago that her son needed help or he would “become a statistic,” according to court records.
“I want my son to get the help he needs so he does not become a statistic or some one else gets hurt by his clouded mind right now,” Kathleen Krubert said in a handwritten letter to a Walworth County judge in June 2004.
Her letter and other court records indicate Jeremiah B. Krubert, 39, had a history of arrests and mental health commitments.
Investigators believe Jeremiah Krubert early Thursday morning broke into the town of La Grange home of his mother and her boyfriend, Michael Boyd, and beat Boyd with a pipe. Boyd’s injuries included a skull fracture, and he was being treated a Milwaukee-area hospital, Capt. Scott McClory said.
Kathleen Krubert called 911 and fled to a neighbor’s home, McClory said.
A deputy responding at 2:45 a.m. encountered Jeremiah Krubert, who was trying to leave the driveway in Boyd’s truck. Krubert got out of the truck and “confronted the deputy with an edged weapon,” and the deputy shot “multiple times during this encounter,” according to a Walworth County Sheriff’s Office news release.
“We know that the deputy discharged his weapon,” McClory said. “It’s unknown if any of those (bullets) struck Mr. Krubert.”
Krubert then stole the deputy’s squad car and fled south on County O.
The news release does not explain how Krubert stole the squad car, and sheriff’s office officials declined to provide more details Friday. McClory and Sheriff David Graves said the state Division of Criminal Investigation is handling the investigation.
The stolen squad car crashed at Millard and Pierce roads about three miles from the house, according to the release.
“Jeremiah is alleged to have exited the squad car with the squad shotgun,” the release continues. “He walked towards the deputies and refused commands to drop the weapon. At this time, three deputies discharged their firearms, and Jeremiah fell to the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Kathleen Krubert’s 2004 letter to the judge is part of a Walworth County Court file in which her son was charged with stealing gas June 29, 2004, from MJB Services, the landscaping business run by Kathleen Krubert and Boyd across the road from their home at N7247 County O. The charge later was dismissed.
In her letter, Kathleen Krubert wrote that her son had a history of substance abuse and a year earlier had been released from a six-month mental commitment.
“At this time, Mr. Krubert has no home, he has been evicted and no job with no one in the family willing to take him due to being afraid of him and afraid for himself,” Kathleen Krubert wrote in 2004.
Two weeks before Kathleen Krubert wrote her letter, her son was arrested in Janesville on charges of disorderly conduct and lewd and lascivious behavior. At the time, he was living at 459 Johnson St., Janesville. Neighbors complained that he was naked in the street, swearing, kissing the ground and performing what looked like a ritual, according to court documents.
Notes in a 2003 Rock County case in which Jeremiah Krubert was charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer indicate he was at Mendota Mental Health Institute on an emergency mental commitment.
In her 2004 letter, Kathleen Krubert asked the court to keep her son in jail for a few days.
“I love my son but want what’s best for him,” she wrote.
Thursday’s shooting was the fifth officer-involved shooting involving Walworth County sheriff’s deputies since July 2010. When asked about a cause for the frequency of shootings, Graves said he has wondered that himself.
“All I can tell you is each time we have one, we have it reviewed by an independent investigator,” he said.
The district attorney’s office reviewed the incidents to ensure proper use of force was followed, and the sheriff’s office has been cleared each time, he said.
“I don’t know why those suspects have rose to the level of violence they have,” he said. “That’s probably something I don’t know if anyone can explain.”
Policies and procedures are constantly changed or studied, the sheriff said. Deputies have ongoing training, which he said might speak to their abilities to handle these types of situations.
“Experience and training and education,” he said. “If we can rely on those, hopefully we all go home at night.”