Winnebago Co. D.A.: Use of deadly force justified in shooting of Michael Jolly

WINNEBAGO Co., Wis. (WBAY) - The Winnebago County district attorney's office determined the use of deadly force in a November 14th shooting in Fox Crossing, Wisconsin was justified, after an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Picture: MGN

Legal documents show Officer Dylan Young of the Fox Crossing Police Department was the first to arrive to a call where a person had a shotgun and was threatening to kill himself.

As WBAY previously reported, when he arrived, the officer found the man's wife and two children were in the home and were being instructed by dispatchers to leave the home.

Officer Corey Colburn, also of the Fox Crossing Police Department, then arrived on the scene and drove his vehicle up to the home.

The wife and children entered the squad car and were driven away by Officer Young, who then returned to the scene to find other officers had arrived.

One of the officers, who has been identified as Lt. Matthew Spiegel of the Menasha Police Department, was aware of the address belonging to Michael A. Jolly, who he had arrested for an OWI shortly after 2 a.m..

When Jolly was arrested, he told Lt. Spiegel that he "was in a bad place", but according to legal documents was cooperative and was released to his wife's custody around 4 a.m.

When Lt. Spiegel arrived, documents state he used his squad phone to contact Michael Jolly, who again stated he was in a bad place, and it was because his grandfather had died, which was five years ago.

Jolly then told Spiegel that he "wanted to stay by his guns and he wasn't going to come out."

The document states Lt. Spiegel was on the phone with Jolly for roughly 30 to 45 minutes, and at one point Spiegel was told by Jolly that he could enter the house and when Jolly pointed a gun at him Lt. Spiegel could shoot him.

Jolly then told Spiegel that he was going to come out of the house with his guns and that he would "see you on the flip side", before hanging up.

Lt. Spiegel then told officers that Jolly said he was coming out of the home with two guns.

During the conversation, Officer Colburn, who was positioned in the back of the home near the north corner of the garage, could hear Lt. Spiegel speaking with Jolly and noted the conversation wasn't going well.

Colburn could also see the back door of the home from his vantage point, and was then joined by Officer Riska of the Neenah Police Department.

Both officers were then advised by Lt. Jason Severson of the Fox Crossing Police Department that Jolly was downstairs in the window -- and to use caution.

Both officers then moved farther away to the back of the neighboring home.

Documents state Colburn saw the back door open and saw Jolly come out of the home and onto the porch.

Jolly then walked towards him as well as Officer Riska with the barrel of a long gun pointed towards them and didn't say anything.

When he exited the home, documents state both Officer Colburn, as well as Officer Riska, repeatedly told Jolly to "show his hands." However, Jolly kept walking towards them with the long gun pointed towards officers Colburn and Riska.

Documents state Colburn then stepped back behind the concealment of the edge of the home next door behind Officer Riska.

Although Riska had a less lethal option at first, documents state he changed to his firearm and fired several rounds.

Colburn stated he wasn't in a position to fire but then stepped out from behind Riska and saw Jolly was "continuing the threat."

Colburn then allegedly fired one or two rounds at Jolly and noticed Riska jump back, so Colburn moved back to a position of concealment to reassess the situation.

Colburn then stated Riska fired several more shots and Jolly "went down."

Documents state Jolly was given medical attention by law enforcement until Gold Cross Ambulance Service arrived, who then took Jolly to Theda Care Regional Medical Center in Neenah, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy states Jolly died from a single gunshot wound to the chest, and during the investigation it was determined the shot came from Riska's firearm.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation was then brought in to investigate the shooting and examined copies of body cameras, cell phone extractions and other evidence.

During the investigation, the DCI spoke with Jolly's wife, who said Michael had been depressed for the past 2 or 3 months, and that November was always a "difficult time" because it was the anniversary of his grandfather's death.

In the conclusion of the legal opinion regarding the incident, officials wrote that "November 14, 2019, is a date that law enforcement and Jolly's family will never be able to forget. This tragic incident clearly shows how individuals impacted by loss and grief can carry that sorrow with them for years, leaving them with a belief that they have no option but to escape and end their pain."