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Man accused of shooting two officers in Delafield charged with attempted homicide

Posted at 12:08 PM, Nov 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-09 15:57:55-05

DELAFIELD  — The man accused of shooting two police officers and causing an area-wide manhunt in Waukesha County on Friday has been charged with attempted homicide.

Prosecutors say Nathanael Benton, 23 of Fargo, shot two police officers on Friday after they asked him if they could search his backpack at the Holiday Express Inn in Delafield. According to a criminal complaint obtained Monday, if Benton is convicted of the two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, he could spend life in prison.

According to the complaint, two police officers from the City of Delafield and the Village of Hartland were responding to a hit-and-run call around 1:38 a.m. when they found Benton and another woman near a vehicle in the parking lot of the hotel. The woman had told police that she, Benton and another man were traveling to Wisconsin Rapids to meet a family member. The woman had met Benton that same day.

The officers asked the woman if they could search her purse and she said yes. However, when they asked to search Benton's backpack, he pulled out a handgun and started firing, the complaint states.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman screamed and ran. She hid in a ditch and called 911.

Around 2:12 a.m., dispatchers received a call of shots fired. Additional officers arrived at the scene and found that the two officers had been shot by Benton, according to the complaint.

The officers were taken to a local hospital for treatment. One officer was struck twice in the back and once in the hip, and the other was struck in the leg.

Following the shooting, Benton ran off, prosecutors say. Around 11:11 a.m., officers found Benton in Delafield. He did not have a weapon on him. Later that day, though, they found two handguns where Benton had been walking, according to the complaint.

Benton is now facing the following felony charges:

  • Attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon (repeater) which is punishable up to 70 years in prison
  • Attempted first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon (repeater) which is punishable up to 70 years in prison
  • Possession of a firearm by an out of state felon (repeater) which is punishable up to 16 years in prison

Benton also has outstanding charges for attempted murder in North Dakota, which occurred on Nov. 1.

Benton's file has been sealed as of Monday afternoon, according to online court records.

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