2019 Ends as it Started…Guns

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2019 for the La Crosse Police Department ended very much like it started, with a “gun shot” call.

On 12-31-2019 officers responded to the 700 block of Logan St. for a report of people hearing six gun shots. Upon arrival officers located shell casings and two sets of footprints in the fresh snow, which when tracked, led to 1321 Caledonia St. Based on this information officers obtained a search warrant for that address. Upon executing the search warrant investigators seized 3 firearms; 2 loaded handguns, 1 of which was stolen and an AR 15 assault rifle with 5 loaded magazines (see pictures). Jonathan J. Stowell (DOB 11-16-2000) of La Crosse was arrested as part of this investigation and charged with possessing the stolen gun, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing; however, our investigation at this point has not found that anyone or anything was hit by gun fire in this incident.

This incident closes out a year which continued a trend of gun related calls and gun crimes. Beginning in 2016 La Crosse Police noted a jump in gun incidents and crimes (see chart). This increase has held for the last 4 years now. During the course of this trend we have expended extensive resources in dealing with and investigating these incidents. Throughout 2019 we have been in discussions with the other members of the criminal justice system about the trend and began working more closely with federal prosecutors when appropriate.

“Safety of the La Crosse community is the Police Department’s highest priority” said Chief Shawn Kudron.  “We will continue to work tirelessly with our Criminal Justice System partners to solve these crimes and bring those responsible to justice.  Through community engagement we will continue our work at making La Crosse a safe and vibrant community.”2019 gun chart

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