Slain St. Croix County deputy leaves behind wife and son; funeral set for Friday

(KSTP) – The St. Croix County deputy shot and killed over the weekend leaves behind a wife and a 3-month-old son, Hubbard affiliate KSTP has learned.

Tuesday afternoon, officials announced that the public visitation and funeral for Deputy Kaitie Leising will take place Friday. The visitation is set to run from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at Hudson High School, with a funeral set to take place immediately afterward. There will also be a special procession.

“She was a wonderful deputy. Her smile says it all, you can see it in her photo,” St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

“We are going to miss her.”

Leising, 29, was responding to reports of a driver in the ditch near Glenwood City, Wisconsin.

Investigators say she asked the driver, 34-year-old Jeremiah Johnson, from Minnesota, to do a sobriety test.

That’s when investigators say he shot Leising, who returned fire but missed.

She died at the hospital, and Johnson was later found dead next to a gun after running into the nearby woods.

Knudson described getting the call Saturday night and walked through the days since Leising’s death.

“For the next however many days now, we’ve been reeling but our support from the community has been great. Our support from our law enforcement community has been amazing,” he said.

Knudson also made it known that he’s angry Leising was killed and that law enforcement’s public image has been tarnished by some.

“I’m angry at the position that we’ve been pushed into. I want you to know that but I also want you to know that I appreciate the support, I appreciate the kind words from so many,” the sheriff said.

Despite her brief time with the sheriff’s office, Knudson said Leising’s impact will be felt for a long time.

“Kaitie’s been with us for only a year but the impact she made, not only on our office but on this community, and it was always how she did her job, was treating people well, that’s how she showed up to calls, and she treated people with dignity and respect,” Knudson said.

“We are devastated by this,” he added.

The sheriff’s office says the only way for people to currently donate is to drop off checks written to “Benefit of Deputy Leising” at any WESTconsin Credit Union branch or at the sheriff’s office.

In lieu of flowers for the memorial service, the family is asking for donations to the National Law Enforcement Memorial.

Click the video box below to watch Tuesday’s full press conference.