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Green Bay police officer cleared in December fatal shooting


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay Police Department and the Brown County District Attorney's office says a police officer who fatally shot a man last month was justified in his actions.

Officers Clint Beguhn and Mark Opicka responded about 5:35 a.m. to a 911 call regarding a disturbance at 1499 Capitol Drive.

The estranged wife of 63-year-old Darold VandenHeuvel made the call, fearing for her safety, after spotting VandenHeuvel through the peephole in her apartment door.

Green Bay Police Chief Tom Molitor says Darold VandenHeuvel wasn't handling the divorce from his wife very well.

"Statements he had been making implied he would be ending his life," Molitor said during a press conference Wednesday. He would not comment on whether VandenHeuvel was looking to be killed by officers, calling it, "speculation."

Molitor says both officers encountered VandenHeuvel inside the building's garage, asking him several times to put his hands in the air, but he refused.

"As Darold started drawing the weapon, Officer Beguhn fired 10 rounds from his handgun and struck Darold several times," Chief Molitor said. "A tenant of one of the apartments above the garage said she heard someone yelling 'hands' shortly before she heard several loud bangs."

Beguhn was placed on administrative leave during the investigation. It's the second time that Beguhn has been involved with a fatal shooting while on the job.

"Officer Beguhn was involved in an incident where he and two other officers were required to use deadly force on November 13, 2011," Chief Molitor said regarding the shooting outside the Packer Stadium Lounge on North Broadway. "Beguhn and the two other officers were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing and were found to be acting within policy and procedure during that incident."

Beguhn has been with the department four-and-a-half years. He's a veteran of the U.S. Army, along with being an active field training officer and a member of the police officer's support team.