The Kenosha County District attorney has ruled that a Kenosha police officer, who shot and killed a man a year ago, was justified in the use of deadly force.
D.A. Robert Zapf said Friday that deadly force was necessary to stop what Officer Pablo Torres believed was a threat posed by Aaron Siler. “In determining whether Officer Torres’ beliefs were reasonable, the standard is what an ordinary, prudent and reasonably intelligent officer would have believed in Officer Torres’ position, having the knowledge and training that Officer Torres possessed, and acting under the circumstances that existed at the time of the shooting.”
Zapf said although Torres thought Siler had a jack handle in his hand when a foot chase ended in a garage, Siler actually was holding a 5 gallon plastic bucket, but it was reasonable for the officer to believe Siler was in possession of a weapon.
Witnesses said Siler lifted the jack up a few inches before putting it down and picking up the bucket. Torres fired seven rounds — six of those struck Siler. The incident occurred on Torres’ first day back on patrol after another officer-involved shooting that occurred 10 days prior.
As required by state law, the shooting was investigated by agents with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.
Roberta Puntillo is a spokesperson for the Siler family. “We have a human being here that was shot. We have a son, we have a brother, we have a father, and so to see all of this presented in this way, with this type of result, it’s obvisouly very difficult for the family,” Puntillo said. The family of Aaron Siler plans to pursue a civil action.
WRJN contributed to this report