Wis. Officer Killed, Another Critical in Shooting

Fond du Lac Officer Craig Birkholz was shot in the upper chest and killed and Officer Ryan Williams was shot twice in the chest and is critical.


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.

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