Justin D. Kopmeyer Wiki – Bio
Justin D. Kopmeyer, 39, found dead in a convenience store bathroom where he had exchanged gunfire with a police officer, was the suspect accused of killing a woman with whom he had a previous relationship just two days ago, Madison police said. The department confirmed this during a press conference on Monday.
Just hours before his death, MPD identified Justin Kopmeyer as a murder suspect and warned the public that he should be considered armed and dangerous. Kopmeyer, 39, was charged with killing Kristin Schmitt, who was found dead in an apartment on Richard Street after a neighbor of hers asked MPD officers to search her. Her neighbor reported hearing a loud argument coming from her apartment and became concerned for her when she did not see the woman behind her. When officers arrived, they found Schmitt’s body, Barnes continued, adding that she appeared to have been strangled to death.
Two days later, after naming Kopmeyer as the suspect, officers caught up with him on Kwik Trip, in the 3500 block of E. Washington Ave., where he and a police officer exchanged fire, the MPD reported. A second officer also fired a Taser, in an attempt to apprehend Kopmeyer, who retreated to the convenience store bathroom. A statement from the Wisconsin Department of Justice echoed the MPD statement.
Justin D. Kopmeyer Age
Justin D. Kopmeyer was 39 years old.
Suspect found dead in a convenience store bathroom
According to Barnes, an MPD officer and the man exchanged fire and a second police officer attempted to detain the man with a taser. A later statement from the Wisconsin Department of Justice reinforced that description, adding that after the exchange, the individual went to the bathroom. Officers heard two more shots and the man was found dead in the bathroom. Barnes said he believes the officer’s bullet struck Kopmeyer, but he doesn’t believe that was the fatal shot. He added that the medical examiner’s office will make the final determination.
The officers involved in the confrontation have been placed on administrative leave, per MPD policy. The state Justice Department’s Criminal Investigation Division took over the shooting investigation because an officer was involved. No other injuries were reported as a result of the shooting. Barnes said one of the officers involved is a 13-year veteran, while the other has been with the police department for four years. Both are members of the SWAT team and both had recently received de-escalation training.
During the attempt to apprehend the suspect and the subsequent investigation, a large number of police patrols were seen around the Kwik Trip. A nearby business and NBC15 News viewers reported seeing more than a dozen police vehicles after 4 p.m. A portion of E. Washington Ave. was also blocked. Witnesses who were in the area at the time of the shooting said it started like any normal Friday afternoon. It suddenly got quiet, very quiet and I saw people running out of Kwik Trip and heading to the car wash,” witness Amir Morning-Turner said. Morning-Turner said that for two hours it seemed that the only vehicles passing by were police officers. Traffic calm is when you know it’s serious,” said Latif Tanner, who also witnessed the event. “In East Wash, Fridays at 4 is when you know it’s serious.”
During Monday’s press conference, Barnes acknowledged the trauma of what happened to the community on multiple levels, including Kwik Shop customers who fled the store with their arms raised when it happened. He noted that the effects extend to witnesses who were outside at the time and people driving by who saw such a large police presence in their community. Barnes also invited DAIS Executive Director Shannon Berry to speak about domestic abuse and prevention. Berry began by noting that southern Wisconsin has seen recent deaths, including Schmitt’s, related to domestic violence. Domestic violence is an epidemic everywhere, including here in Dane County,” she said.
She urged anyone who is concerned that someone they know may be a victim of domestic abuse to contact them and let them know that people care about them. If anyone needs to find resources to help make that approach, Berry said she can call DAIS at 608-251-4445.
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