Suspect shot dead in officer-involved shooting in Walworth County
TOWN OF LA GRANGE — Three deputies shot and killed an Elkhorn man suspected of beating his mother's boyfriend with a pipe, stealing a squad car and threatening deputies with a shotgun early Thursday morning.
Jeremiah B. Krubert, 39, died at the scene about five miles southeast of Whitewater, according to a Walworth County Sheriff's Office news release. Online court records list Krubert's address as N7007 Sycamore Lane, Elkhorn.
Authorities believe Krubert had severely beaten his mother's boyfriend, Michael J. Boyd, 54, apparently at Boyd's home at N7248 County O.
A deputy responding to a report of a home invasion at 2:45 a.m. encountered 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 the release.
Krubert then stole the deputy's squad car, and a pursuit ensued south on County O.
The news release does not explain how Krubert stole the squad car. Officials did not respond to phone calls.
The squad car crashed at the “T” intersection of Millard Road and Pierce Road in the town of Sugar Creek 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.”
Authorities believe Krubert had beaten Boyd with a metal object “consistent with a pipe,” causing extensive damage to his skull and face, according to the release.
Boyd and his girlfriend, Kathleen M. Krubert, 58, live at the residence, and Jeremiah is Kathleen's son, according to the release.
Boyd was taken to Lakeland Medical Center in Elkhorn but then transferred to “a higher level of care facility in the Milwaukee area” because of the severity of his injuries, according to the release.
Undersheriff Kurt Picknell, interviewed at the scene, said there were no other injuries.
The state Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating with the help of the sheriff's office.
“The four deputies involved have been placed on administrative duties, which is standard practice for these types of incidents,” the release reads.
The property at N7248 County O is owned by Michael Boyd and Kathleen Krubert, according to online Walworth County parcel records. Krubert is listed as the owner of the farm across the road at N7247 County O, where the couple run a lawn care, landscape maintenance and property management business called MJB Services.
Boyd and Krubert, 58, started the family-owned and operated business in 1990, according to the business' website. The couple are lifelong residents of Walworth County and have more than 40 years experience in the business, according to their website.
Ricci Mane, a neighbor on Jackson Road, said he has lived in the area for more than 10 years and has never seen any problems at the home where the shooting occurred. He said he didn't know the residents' names.
Another neighbor, Tom Benigno, who lives on County O, said he says, “hello,” to one of the residents every morning, and he couldn't imagine any problems with the family. It's always quiet around the neighborhood, he said.
The Thursday-morning shooting of an Elkhorn man is the fifth officer-involved shooting involving Walworth County sheriff's deputies since July 2010:
-- Jan. 21, 2013: A deputy fatally shot a jail inmate, 18-year-old Alfredo Emilio Villarreal of Janesville, who was hospitalized at Aurora Lakeland Medical Center, Elkhorn. The deputy was guarding the inmate, who asked to be unshackled from his bed to use the bathroom. Authorities said Villarreal attacked the deputy and used a chair to try to smash the window and hit the deputy. The deputy's Taser failed to stop Villarreal, and the deputy fatally shot Villarreal.
-- Aug. 24, 2012: A deputy shot Robert Lynn, a suspect in a bank robbery at People's Bank north of Elkhorn. The deputy attempted to stop Lynn's vehicle by setting up stop sticks on Marsh Road about a mile into Waukesha County, but Lynn tried to run the deputy over, Sheriff David Graves said. The deputy shot Lynn in the arm.
-- May 5, 2012: A deputy fatally shot John W. Brown, 22, at his home on Meadow Lane in the town of Lyons after Brown's mother reported her son was suicidal. Brown approached two deputies wth a knife, according to investigative reports, and one deputy fired two shots, killing Brown. Brown's mother filed a lawsuit last month in federal court against the deputy and the county, accusing the officer of using excessive force.
-- July 13, 2010: A sheriff's deputy and two town of Geneva police officers fatally shot Roman O. Petriw, 47, at a home on Dandelion Road in the town of Geneva. Petriw failed to obey orders to drop two handguns, and he shot himself two times in the torso before dropping the weapons, according to reports. Officers ordered him to keep his hands up, but he reached for the gun, prompting officers to fire at him.
Gazette staff members Samantha Jacquest, Frank Schultz and Gina Duwe contributed to this story.