Authorities Say Bad River Teen Called 911, Threatened Officer

November 11, 2017 06:47 PM

Authorities have named the officer in the officer-involved shooting that led to the death of a 14-year-old boy last Wednesday. 

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They say Ashland County Sheriff's Deputy Brock Mrdjenovich responded to the scene and encountered 14-year-old Jason Ike Pero, who approached Mrdjenovich with a large butcher knife. 

Authorities say Pero refused numerous commands to drop the weapon, and lunged twice at Mrdjenovich while he was attempting to retreat. Mrdjenovich then fired his weapon, striking Pero twice.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation has determined Pero was the same person that called 911 reporting a man with a knife and gave his own description. Authorities had executed a search of Pero's bedroom after hearing that he had been despondent over the few days leading up to the incident, and say the evidence they found supports that.    

"I can't think of any scenario worst case that would necessitate this kind of action for anybody, especially a 14-year-old. We're supposed to be safe in our own neighborhoods," Andy Gokey, Jason's grandfather said on Thursday.

Jason's mom said Wednesday Jason was out sick from school. That morning Ashland County Deputies responded to a report that Jason was walking down Maple Street on the reservation carrying a knife. Not long after, he was shot and killed by Deputy Mrdjenovich. Investigators say a knife was found at the scene but family members say nothing can justify shooting a 14-year-old boy.           

"He wasn't a trouble maker," said Holly Gauthier, Jason's mother on Thursday.

Jason was the oldest of her three children and the only one she saw before she went blind.

"He was charismatic and he was intelligent beyond his years, and you can never win an argument with that boy," said Gauthier.

She says it's been an extremely tough time for the family.

"He loved his family and we loved him very much. He was a big part of our family," Gauthier added.

Jason's mom says she plans to start a petition for deputies to begin wearing body cameras. Deputy Mrdjenovich has been placed on paid administrative leave.


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