Off-duty deputy wounded

Commander shot while scouting hunting site near Somerset area


SOMERSET TOWNSHIP, Wis. — A Washington County Sheriff’s Office commander is in good condition at a St. Paul hospital after he was shot by another man turkey hunting Tuesday morning, according to the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office.

John Cusick, 53, of Stillwater, and a 28-year WCSO veteran, was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul after suffering a single shotgun blast to his head, face, neck and shoulder, a SCCSO statement said.

“I do not know the status of his condition. He is being monitored,” said Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton about Cusick.

However, Hutton said Cusick’s injuries are serious.

“It’s a gunshot wound. Absolutely it’s serious,” the sheriff said.
Hutton said the shooting occurred while Cusick was looking at hunting sites on private property.

“Jerry was not hunting. He was scouting his hunting land,” Hutton said.

Emergency personnel were called shortly before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a man shot in the 1900 block of 80th Street in Somerset Township. Arriving St. Croix County Sheriff’s deputies discovered Cusick managed to make his way to a neighbor’s residence where he was transported to Regions Hospital by Lakeview EMS.

A preliminary investigation indicates that Cusick was shot by Anthony Cardarelli of White Bear Lake, according to the SCCSO. St. Croix County Sheriff John Shilts said the investigation indicates Cardarelli did not intend to shoot Cusick.

“There is no indication at this point that Cardarelli intended to shoot a person,” Shilts said. “However, I have great concern over the fact that Cardarelli did not properly identify his intended target prior to shooting.”

The incident remains under investigation by SCCSO deputies and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wardens. No further details are expected to be released until the investigation is complete.

Wisconsin is currently in Period C of its spring turkey hunting that started Tuesday and runs through Monday, according to the Wisconsin DNR. Hunting hours are a half-hour before sunrise to sunset.