Dalquavis T. Ward, 26, of Milwaukee, has been identified as the suspect authorities believe to be responsible for the killing of Racine Police Officer John Hetland.
Ward was booked and detained at the Kenosha County Jail at 7:02 p.m. Thursday after being arrested in Milwaukee.
On Friday afternoon, Ward was formally charged with first-degree intentional homicide with use of a dangerous weapon, armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is set to appear for an initial appearance on Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.
His arrest, stemming from a combined effort of 17 law enforcement agencies, came just one day after Hetland was laid to rest.
Hetland, a 24-year veteran of the Racine Police Department, was off-duty when he was shot and killed attempting to halt an armed robbery on June 17 at Teezer’s Tavern, 1936 Lathrop Ave., in Racine. The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department took over as the lead investigator in the fatal shooting.
Making the arrest
On Thursday, there was a heavy police presence in the 2900 block of Wells Street in Milwaukee, which is where Ward was believed to be residing.
Ward was taken into custody wearing Hetland’s handcuffs, according to Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.
“That’s how he was taken to jail,” said Beth at Thursday’s press conference in Racine. “And that part feels good.”
Beth said information obtained from the state crime lab tipped authorities to the suspect and his whereabouts. He credited the interagency work of the Racine County Sheriff’s Department, Kenosha Police Department, Wisconsin Department of Justice, the state department of Criminal Investigations, the state crime lab, Milwaukee Police Department, the Milwaukee High Density Trafficking Areas Program, AFT and other agencies from Wisconsin and Illinois with bringing Ward in.
Detectives from multiple agencies remain involved in the investigation.
Lengthy criminal record
The fatal shooting reportedly was just days after Ward was released from federal prison. The Racine Journal Times reported Friday that Ward was paroled by the Federal Bureau of Prisons on June 13.
According to court records, on July 11, 2008, Ward, then 14, was involved in an armed robbery. Court records show that Ward spent time in Lincoln Hills juvenile prison following the incident.
In an unrelated case, Ward was charged federally and sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years’ probation in February 2016. The sentence came after Ward and another man robbed Colonial Liquor, 2813 Taylor Ave., at gunpoint in December 2014, federal court records show.
Because the liquor store “was engaged in the purchase and sale of articles and commodities in interstate commerce,” Ward and his co-defendant were charged in federal court. Ward’s probation in the federal case was revoked Friday.
The newspaper also reported Friday that Ward has previously faced additional gun charges. According to a 2015 criminal complaint, Ward was charged with felony counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and strangulation and suffocation, as well as a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct after a Jan. 10, 2015, incident in which he reportedly choked a woman he was living with.
Crime news (June 23-27, 2019)
Here is a collection of crime news that has appeared in the Kenosha News June 23 through June 27, 2019.
A motion to postpone jury selection was denied for the alleged drunken driver charged in the deaths of three members of a well-known Kenosha family.
The reward has increased to $78,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect in the fatal shooting of Racine Police O…
As the funeral for Racine Police Officer John Hetland nears, investigators are stepping up their requests for information that could lead to h…