DELAFIELD — A suspect accused of shooting two police officers which led to a several-hours-long manhunt in Waukesha County Friday has been arrested, police say.
Following a tip from a concerned resident, Nathanael Benton, 23 of Fargo, North Dakota was spotted and arrested in the City of Delafield Friday afternoon. Police say Benton also has an arrest warrant for attempted homicide in his hometown on Nov. 1, 2020.
According to a release sent by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office with the latest details Friday afternoon, officers from Delafield and the Village of Hartland responded to a possible hit and run at the Holiday Inn in Delafield.
There, the officers made contact with a man later identified as Benton. He was with a 29-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man, both from Warsaw, Indiana.
When the officers began speaking to Benton, police say Benton drew a handgun and fired several shots at the officers, striking both of them.
Benton then fled the scene, heading towards I-94. The man and woman he was with were taken into custody at the Holiday Inn.
Those officers were taken to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Their departments are not saying how badly they were injured, but say they are expected to recover.
Law enforcement from over a dozen departments, including the FBI, established a large perimeter around the scene of the shooting. The force included heavily armed SWAT teams. Law enforcement also sent messages to the public with a description of Benton.
At some point, a concerned citizen called 911 and reported a person matching his description.
Benton was located near Broken Bow Court in Delafield and was taken into custody without incident.
Video captured by a neighbor shows Benton quietly being taken into custody. Another neighbor says he was found near a popular path where people often walk their dogs.
An emergency alert was sent to Waukesha County area residents just before 4:30 a.m. Friday, urging them to avoid the area and to take shelter if they lived in the immediate area.
The Waukesha County Sheriff's Office urged everyone to also avoid the area of I-94 at CTY Road SS and CTY Road C.
“Somebody who shot people was out on the loose, so we were concerned,” said Michelle Kremser, who was waiting outside a roadblock to reach her job.
“I would have never thought Delafield would be a shooting with two cops involved. But it happens anywhere. So just glad it’s over,” said Katie Rizer, who is a chef at Delafield Brewhaus.
It was news the Delafield Police Chief learned as we were speaking to him.
“This one, yeah I want this guy. I want him in custody. I want him to face justice for what’s he’s done,” said Delafield Police Chief Erik Kehl as he trailed off. “Then I can tell the community it’s safe.
Kehl said his officer is out of the trauma unit and is able to talk. Hartland police say their officer is facing a serious injury but is now resting with their family members nearby.
WisDOT said both eastbound and westbound lanes of I-94 at WIS 83 were closed. The lanes reopened just before 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Hartland Lakeside School District said schools will be closed Friday due to the ongoing search for the suspect. The district sent an email to families Friday morning say there would be no virtual classes and that school would resume on Monday, Nov. 9.
"Please keep your own children inside today until the suspect at large has been taken into police custody. Our thoughts and prayers are with the police officers and their families," said Nancy Nikolay, the HLSD superintendent.
Lake Country School announced Friday morning that it was delaying school for two hours.
Lake Country School District said it would delaying school and bus routes by two hours.
Pewaukee schools announced that schools would be closed, for both virtual students and in-person.