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WAUSAU (WAOW) -
Eau Claire police say a string of events last Friday led to the death of 24-year-old Christian Peterson. Authorities say he was shot and killed by an officer after several hit and run crashes. They say Peterson also broke into someone's home.
But despite all that, classmates of Peterson's at UW-Marathon County are remembering him.
"For it to end the way it did is a real heartbreak," UW-Marathon County Student Government Association president Ian Reese said.
"Today we have two medical health counselors available to talk to students if that's necessary," UW-Marathon County University Relations Director Brian Becker said.
School leaders say Peterson was in his second semester and had been a member of the Student Government Association.
"Every time I talked to him, I always got the impression of someone who was very intelligent, very thoughtful, someone who is very in touch with the world around them," Reese said.
But now, we're learning more about what led up to that day. On September 20, Marathon County jail administrators say Peterson was released for the day to go to school. But, he never came back.
Police say it's not clear why Peterson was in Eau Claire. Authorities say it all ended when he tried to steal a truck.
They say he refused to drop a gun and that's when he was shot by police and later died from his injuries.
Authorities say the officer that shot him has been placed on paid leave.
"It's never something an officer wants to do, so there are emotional complications that are attached to that," Roder said.
Authorities say the officer will return to work when he's ready and the investigation into Friday's events are ongoing.
The jail administrator says Peterson was in jail after violating his probation. This followed a 2011 drug conviction.
Newsline 9 spoke with Peterson's family members for their side of the story. At this point, they do not wish to comment.
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