Off-Duty Police Officer Charged after Shooting Man in the Groin While Drunk

A Wisconsin police officer has been charged after authorities say he shot another man in the groin while drunk and off-duty.

Sgt. Michael Sturek, 39, with the Mauston Police Department, is charged with felony second-degree recklessly endangering safety, WKBT reported. He is also charged with two misdemeanors—endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm while intoxicated

According to the complaint, the charges relate to an incident that took place in the early hours of August 26 after Sturek and the victim had spent the night drinking at Sturek's home.

Sturek told investigators he and another person had been drinking cocktails and that he also had "about 12 beers throughout the night into the morning," WEAU reported, when the pair went to look at Sturek's guns, which were locked in gun safes.

According to the Juneau County Star-Times, the complaint said Sturek took out a Walters P22 pistol after the victim had shown interest in it.

They went into the back yard, where Sturek ended up shooting the gun, hitting the other man in the groin.

Sturek, who is also apparently a firearms instructor, said he did not know how the gun went off, according to the newspaper.

He said he didn't have his "booger picker on the bang switch," meaning his finger on the trigger and that the gun went off as he was clearing it.

The victim was taken to hospital, where he underwent surgery to remove the bullet that ended up lodged in his thigh, WKBT reported.

During a search of the back yard, police recovered the spent round from the Walters P22 as well as four live rounds from the gun, the complaint said.

The name of the victim has not been released. But Mauston city administrator Randy Reeg said two off-duty members of the Mauston Police Department had been involved in an incident on the morning of August 26.

"The officers have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is under review by an external law enforcement agency," Reeg said in a statement early last month.

"We have no further comment until we have completed our internal investigation. That process is underway," Reeg told Newsweek on Thursday.

The city of Mauston asked the Monroe County Sheriff's Office to investigate due to the conflict, which led to the filing of charges against Sturek in Juneau County this week, according to the Star-Times.

The felony charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, or both, according to the newspaper.

The police department have been contacted for comment.

This article has been updated with a comment from Mauston city administrator Randy Reeg

Stock photo shows rifles are for sale at a gun shop in Merrimack, New Hampshire. A police officer has been charged after authorities said he shot another man while drunk and off-duty. Dominick Reuter/AFP via Getty Images