Chief: Knife attack provokes police shooting - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Chief: Knife attack provokes police shooting

PLOVER (WAOW) – A 33-year-old Manawa man stopped for erratic driving was shot after he quickly approached a Plover policeman's car and “initiated an unprovoked attack” with a knife, Police Chief Dwayne Wierzba said Monday.

The incident that wounded Brett Lieberman with an unknown number of gunshot wounds happened Friday night on state Highway 54 following a 911 call of an erratic driver, Wierzba said in a statement.

Policeman Andrew Hopfensperger saw the described vehicle and initiated a traffic stop, the police chief.

Investigators have not said how many shots Hopfensperger fired. One witness told Newsline Nine he heard five shots.

Wierzba said the officer used “appropriate force” to defend himself and stop the “potentially lethal attack.”

Hopfensperger, who joined the department in 2006, was not hurt in the incident and has been placed on administrative leave, a standard practice in these types of investigations, the police chief said.

The state Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation, Wierzba said.

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