UPDATE: Officer Involved Critical Incident Investigation in Watertown, Wis.

Oct 26 2023

WATERTOWN, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating an officer involved critical incident in the City of Watertown, Wis. that occurred on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 18, 2023.


At approximately 11:17 a.m., officers with the Watertown Police Department responded to a call regarding criminal damage to property at an apartment in the City of Watertown. Justin C. Whitten, age 30, fled the apartment prior to law enforcement arrival. Whitten was later located in a parking lot on Tower Drive. Whitten turned towards law enforcement with a handgun and Watertown Police Officer James Simon, with 9 years of law enforcement service, discharged his firearm and struck Whitten. Lifesaving measures were performed but Whitten was pronounced deceased at the scene.


No other members of the public or law enforcement were injured during the incident.


Officer Simon and another officer present were equipped with a body-worn and squad cameras. Officer Simon has been placed on administrative leave, per agency policy.


DCI is leading the investigation and is assisted by the Wisconsin State Patrol, Jefferson County Medical Examiner’s Office, DCI’s Digital Forensics Unit and a DCI Crime Response Specialist. All involved law enforcement are fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation.


DCI will review all evidence and determine the facts of the incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Jefferson County District Attorney when the investigation concludes.


Please direct media inquiries regarding the officer involved critical incident to Wisconsin DOJ.