Officer Craig Birkholz
Photo credit: AP Photo/Fond du Lac Police Department
FOND DU LAC, Wis. --
One Fond du Lac police officer was killed and another was critically injured when a man inside a home on the city's west side began firing.
Police Chief Tony Barthuly said 28-year-old Officer Craig Birkholz was shot in the upper chest by the suspect and killed. Officer Ryan Williams was shot twice in the chest and is in critical condition at a Neenah hospital.
Barthuly said Williams likely would have died had he not been wearing a protective vest.
"It's very sad that we lost an officer. It's my biggest nightmare and I think it's the biggest nightmare of any police officer or parent or family member of a police officer," Barthuly said.
Another officer, Zach Schultz, was injured and treated at the scene.
Authorities went to the house around 6 a.m. Sunday to investigate a reported sexual assault at the home. Investigators said when officers arrived, they were fired upon by a man inside.
That man, 30-year-old James Cruckson, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was found inside the house after a nearly 6-hour standoff.
Barthuly said Birkholz was on the police force for two years and also spent 5 years in the Army where he served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Birkholz is originally from Kenosha and went to UW-Oshkosh where he got his degree in criminal justice. He is survived by his wife and parents.
A K9 was also shot, but is expected to survive.
Copyright 2011 by WISN.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.