DCI: Suspect died after exchange of gunfire with Watertown police

WATERTOWN (WKOW) – The Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation, today released the name of the man shot and killed May 31 by Watertown police.

Thomas Jeffery Sutherlin, 32, died at a nearby hospital.

Investigators say gunfire was exchanged between Sutherlin and police after he was stopped during an investigation into a domestic incident.

Police had been looking for Sutherlin and stopped his car for a burned-out tail light, according to the DCI news release.

During the traffic stop, a taser was deployed, but was not effective, according to the DCI news release.

"Shots within the vehicle were fired and officers returned fire," according to DCI.

A firearm was found in the vehicle, investigators said.

Police immediately began life-saving measures and paramedics later transported Sutherlin to a nearby hospital where he died.

No law enforcement personnel or other individuals, besides Sutherlin, were injured during the incident.

The Watertown Police Officer who shot Sutherlin is identified as Pedro Gallegos, who has been in law enforcement for six years, has been placed on administrative leave per department policy.

DCI is leading this investigation and is assisted by the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, Wisconsin State Patrol, and DOJ Office of Crime Victim Services. All involved law enforcement are fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation.

DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Jefferson County District Attorney when the investigation concludes.

No additional details are currently available.

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