UPDATE: Officer Involved Death Investigation in Watertown, Wis.

Jun 9 2020

WATERTOWN, Wis.– The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating an officer involved death (OID) in Watertown, Wis. that occurred on the evening of Sunday, May 31, 2020.


Law enforcement from Watertown Police Department initiated a traffic stop in Watertown for a burnt-out taillight. Law enforcement had been looking for the subject to question him about his involvement in a domestic incident. During the traffic stop, a taser was deployed, but was not effective. Shots within the vehicle were fired and officers returned fire. A firearm was found in the vehicle.


Law enforcement immediately began life-saving measures on the subject, Thomas Jeffery Sutherlin (age 32) and paramedics later transported the subject to a nearby hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries sustained during the incident. No law enforcement personnel or other individuals were injured during the incident.


The involved officer, Watertown Police Officer Pedro Gallegos, who has been in law enforcement for 6 years, has been placed on administrative leave per department policy.


DCI is leading this investigation and is assisted by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, Wisconsin State Patrol, and DOJ Office of Crime Victim Services. All involved law enforcement are fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation.


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


No additional details are currently available.


Please direct all media inquiries regarding this incident to DOJ.