10 Year Anniversary Of Fatal Shootout In FDL

Officer Craig Birkholz was shot and killed 10 years ago today(3/20/21). It was an early Sunday morning in March of 2011 and Birkholz and other officers with the Fond du Lac Police Department were involved in a six-hour standoff with a shooter identified as 30-year old James Cruckson.

Chief of Police at the time, Tony Barthuly, said at a press conference that day it was a nightmare. Officer Ryan Williams and his K-9 Grendel were critically wounded but would recover. Officer Zach Schultz received minor injuries and was treated and released.

A number of squad cars and ambulances on the scene were also the target of the numerous shots fired, and behind one of the squad cars was former FDL Police Officer David Raddatz.

Raddatz knew he had to act fast. As the shots from the sniper continued, Raddatz realized the shooter had a plan, and based on where the shots were being aimed, had received some type of formal or tactical training. The shooter was targeting specific areas of the squad car based on where he assumed Raddatz might be.

Cruckson eventually took his own life, bringing an end to an incredibly traumatic day. Family, friends and fellow officers continue to remember Officer Birkholz at the Law Enforcement and Fire Memorial in Hamilton Park.  

You can hear the interview with David Raddatz at 8:40 a.m. Saturday morning on KFIZ.