Madison man charged in shooting incident
The man involved in an incident near the Classic Corner convenience store in Madison last week is now facing felony charges. 34-year-old Benjamin Hernandez of Madison was arrested this week and charged with four felony counts of Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. He is being held in the Lake County Jail.
An affidavit filed with the Lake County Clerk of Courts Office provides information from the state Division of Criminal Investigation. The affidavit states that the DCI started its investigation into the September 30th incident after being advised that a Lake County Deputy was involved in an officer involved shooting while on duty.
The affidavit states that a 911 call was placed at 11:30 a.m. on September 30th from a woman reporting that her adult grandson, later identified as Hernandez, had entered her Madison residence and left with a shotgun. Police first responded to Hernandez’s address to try to locate him, but then another 911 call was made by Hernandez’s mother. His mother reported that she was with him in a silver vehicle on the east side of Classic Corner, then she went inside and into the bathroom and said that Hernandez was still in the vehicle armed with a shotgun.
The affidavit states that Madison Police Officers and Lake County Sheriff’s Deputies responded and DCI agents were contacted to assist with negotiations. Counselors also were on scene and they, along with officers, were commanding Hernandez to drop the gun or exit the vehicle unarmed.
According to the affidavit, a Sheriff’s Office and a Madison Police vehicle were parked just to the northeast of Hernandez’s vehicle with four officers by the vehicles. During negotiations, officers reported that Hernandez made numerous threats to kill himself. He also threatened to point the shotgun at officers saying they would have to shoot him. The affidavit states that after several attempts to compel Hernandez to surrender and disarm himself, one of the officers fired two less than lethal rounds at him, one striking the rear passenger door of the vehicle and one striking him near his pelvis through an open front passenger door. After that, the affidavit states that Hernandez remained in the vehicle, armed with the shotgun, and then pointed the muzzle of the shotgun towards the officers with his finger on the trigger.
Just before 2:30 that afternoon, one of the officers fired a single round from a patrol rifle, hitting Hernandez in his left upper chest. He was transported by ambulance to Madison Regional Health and then flown to Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls with non life-threatening injuries.
The affidavit states that in an interview with the DCI agent, the officer who shot at Hernandez later said that “when he pointed it at us, I shot”.
Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer is a Class Two Felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in the state penitentiary and a fine of 50-thousand dollars.
Hernandez is scheduled for a bond hearing in Lake County Circuit Court Thursday morning.