La Crosse, Wisconsin – A man who carjacked a mother’s automobile with a 1-year-old toddler in the back seat was shot and killed as he pulled a gun while trying to flee from police. (Video below)
Video of the August incident was released Sept. 8.
Roger Burzinski, 54, showed a handgun to a woman while stealing her car on Aug. 12. The woman was able to get herself and her 3-year-old child out of the car but not her 1-year-old who was in the car seat in back when Burzinski drove off.
Kneshay Fair said her two young daughters were asleep in the back seat when the gunman approached and put the gun through the driver’s side window and told the woman to get out of the car, according to the La Crosse Tribune.
Fair fought with the gunman but he jumped into the driver’s seat and sped off while she was trying to get her 1-year-old out.
“It all happened so fast,” Fair told the newspaper.
Minutes later, police spotted the stolen car and pursued Burzinski who continued driving and crashed into a parked car.
Two officers shot and killed the Burzinski after they saw he had a weapon and had refused to follow their orders, said La Crosse Police Capt. Jason Melby. The child was unharmed. No officers were injured.
Wisconsin’s Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting. It’s the La Crosse Police Department’s first officer-involved shooting where a suspect was killed since 1935, according to the La Crosse Tribune.
The two officers involved in the shooting on are paid administrative leave, which is common procedure after a shooting.
The video shows the police pulling up behind the stolen Chevy Trailblazer. Burzinski goes through a construction zone and then hits a parked car and appeared to be stuck as police closed in.
Officers would have been legally justified in shooting Burzinski in order to prevent his escape, even before he pulled his gun on the officers. It’s safe to say that this shooting is justified shooting and the officers gave him every chance to surrender.
The La Crosse Tribune reported that Burzinski’s criminal record in Wisconsin goes back to 1980. It includes convictions for possession of a firearm by a felon, second-degree sexual assault of a child, battery to police, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, fleeing police and armed robbery.
Burzinski spent six years in prison for robbing a La Crosse convenience store of $60 by claiming to have a firearm in 1985. He also spent four years for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 1994.
Watch the video of police catching the carjacker here.