NEENAH— A Wisconsin police
chief says a dashcam video appears to show that officers who
fatally shot an armed hostage in December gave no warning
before they fired outside a motorcycle shop.
Neenah Police Chief Kevin
Wilkinson commented Thursday on the video, which was
obtained and published online by the USA
Today Network . It appears to show Michael Funk wasn't
warned he'd be shot Dec. 5 as he ran from Eagle Nation
Cycles shop, where hostages were being held.
Neenah police had said
shortly after the shooting that Funk, 50, ignored orders to
drop his gun. Wilkinson told The Associated Press that the
initial information about Funk ignoring orders was from
early interviews with witnesses, who may have been mistaken
about when the commands were given, if in fact they were.
"From the video, it
appears no warning was given," Wilkinson said of the
nearly 5-minute dashcam footage. Wilkinson said it was
possible a warning was given but not heard by Funk.
Funk and two other men were
held hostage at the bike shop in a dispute over a
motorcycle. The video shows Funk escaping out the back door
of the shop into an alley, falling or diving to the ground
and taking cover behind a pickup truck, gun drawn, before
moving away from it and coming under police gunfire.
Neenah police have said one
or more officers opened fire on Funk and that the gunman
inside also may have shot at him. Funk's wife, attorney and
longtime business partner have all said he was a hostage who
shouldn't have been killed. His widow, Theresa Mason-Funk,
filed a $3.5 million claim in March against the City of
Neenah and three police officers.
The fatal shooting remains
under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice,
as required by a state law.
The man who authorities say
took hostages, 46-year-old Brian Flatoff of Stevens Point,
is charged with 11 felonies, including attempted
first-degree intentional homicide. A police officer was
injured after a bullet bounced off his helmet.
The three officers were
placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting and
returned to desk duty later that month. Neenah is about 100
miles north of Milwaukee.