Release from: Dunn County District Attorney's Office
Dunn County, Wisconsin
March 09, 2023
For Immediate Release
OFFICER INVOVLED SHOOTING DEEMED JUSTIFIED
AS SELF-DEFENSE AND DEFENSE OF OTHERS
Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf released her decision today that the use of deadly force by Dunn County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Blum, Menomonie Police Department Officer Tyson Kahl, and Menomonie Police Department Lieutenant Michael Sampson were justified acts of self-defense and defense of others on January 21, 2023.
Nodolf stated “While the death of Nicholas Ciccarelli is tragic, based on his statements and actions that night, these officers were left with no other choice, likely in part due to the very high level of methamphetamine in his blood”. It is fortunate that no innocent bystanders were harmed or killed in this incident. Under the circumstances of this case, the Dunn County District Attorney’s Office concluded that Deputy Blum’s use of deadly force was wholly and completely justified as a reasonable act of self-defense. Further, Officer Kahl and Lt. Sampson’s use of deadly force was wholly and completely justified as a reasonable act of defense of others. As such, no action will be taken by this Office and this matter is closed. This community owes all of the officers involved that night a debt of thanks for putting their lives on the line to protect the public in this instance. This community is truly grateful for their selfless and dedicated service.
In a detailed report, Nodolf described the events of the evening of January 21, 2023 which started with a 911 call from a caller describing someone (later determined to be Nicholas Ciccarelli (02/26/1977)) was at his door demanding he open up and threatening to kill him. Ciccarelli subsequently fired shots from his handgun and stole the caller’s car, a blue PT Cruiser. Based on that 911 call and subsequent events, three law enforcement departments, the Menomonie Police Department, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, and the University of Wisconsin-Stout Police Department dispatched officers to the scene.
Upon arrival, law enforcement located Ciccarelli who was operating the stolen vehicle in an erratic fashion in the immediate neighborhood of the initial scene. The officers quickly secured the scene in order to protect innocent bystanders and attempted to take Ciccarelli safely into custody. Ciccarelli repeatedly refused law enforcement commands and other options to safely bring him into custody.
Deputy Blum initially engaged Ciccarelli in his marked squad car with the emergency lights activated. Deputy Blum exited his squad and issued verbal commands of “Get on the ground” to Ciccarelli who had now exited the stolen car. Ciccarelli did not comply. Deputy Blum again repeated “Get on the ground”. Despite the law enforcement commands, Ciccarelli refused and instead advanced directly towards Deputy Blum, and said “Do it then”. At this time, Deputy Blum observed a silver handgun in Ciccarelli’s right hand. In response to these actions, Deputy Blum was left with no other choice but to fire as he feared Ciccarelli was going to kill him. Officer Kahl heard Lt. Sampson yell “gun” and observed Ciccarelli begin to raise his handgun toward Deputy Blum. Lt. Sampson also observed Ciccarelli quickly advance toward Deputy Blum with the handgun. Both Lt. Sampson and Officer Kahl fired on Ciccarelli at approximately the same time after observing the clear, imminent, and direct threat to Deputy Blum.
Life saving measures were immediately performed on Ciccarelli but were unfortunately unsuccessful. Ciccarelli’s weapon, a six inch barreled Smith and Wesson .357 magnum revolver with a stainless steel finish and wood-style grips was observed lying on the ground between Ciccarelli and the open door of Deputy Blum’s squad. The revolver was still cocked and ready to fire. Ciccarelli’s second firearm and 17 grams of methamphetamine were located on the passenger seat of the stolen car. Ciccarelli’s postmortem toxicology revealed positive drug screens with a high level of methamphetamine.
This incident was investigated by Special Agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistance was provided by the Dunn County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Menomonie Fire Department. Special thanks to the Menomonie Police Department, Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, University of Wisconsin Stout Police Department, and community members who shared photographs and video camera footage of that night, and the Dunn County Emergency 911 dispatchers for their work during this home invasion incident and shooting.