RURAL OTTUMWA — Investigators say no charges appear warranted after the fatal shooting of a Wisconsin man in rural Wapello County last week.
The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on Monday identified the man fatally shot as 28-year-old Aaron Thompson, of Brookfield, Wisconsin. A press release said Thompson was attempting to enter a residence on 97th Avenue in rural Wapello County, between Agency and Ottumwa. Investigators say Thompson was suffering from a mental health crisis when he was shot by the owner of a home he had entered.
Police called the shooting a tragic event, but said no criminal charges will be filed.
On Thursday, officers with the Brookfield Police Department in Wisconsin were called to conduct a welfare check on Thompson. While they were not able to locate him personally, they reached him by phone.
According to the press release, later Thursday, he checked into the Hampton Inn in Kirksville, Missouri, where he made a two-night reservation. Thompson was a student, but on leave, at A.T. Still University Medical School in Kirksville, Missouri.
Witnesses told police that Thompson was acting erratic and made odd statements at the hotel.
Thompson ultimately left Kirksville Thursday night and ended up in a ditch on 90th Street in rural Wapello County. A 911 caller reported him at 8:30 p.m. Thursday yelling unintelligibly and behaving erratically, according to the press release.
At 9:19 p.m. Thursday, dispatchers fielded a call from a rural Wapello County homeowner reporting that Thompson was attempting to gain entry to their residence on 97th Avenue. He eventually successfully entered the home and engaged in a physical altercation with a homeowner, investigators said. The homeowner fired one shot into the torso of Thompson.
Responders would arrive and Thompson was transported to Ottumwa Regional Health Center by ground ambulance and eventually transported to University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City by medical helicopter. Thompson later died on Friday from the injuries he sustained in the shooting.
”The lack of criminal charges do not take away the fact that this was the most unfortunate event possible,” said the release sent by Wapello County Sheriff Don Phillips. “Mr. Aaron Thompson was clearly a successful young man with a bright future. Unfortunately, mental health can affect anyone and appears to have played a significant role in this chain of events. Our heart goes out to the Thompson family, who lost a wonderful son, as well as the homeowners involved, who faced an impossible situation and must live with this.”
The homeowners were not identified by authorities. Assisting the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation were the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Iowa State Patrol, the Johnson County Medical Examiner’s Office, Wapello County Emergency Management, Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement and the Wapello County Attorney’s Office.