Police: No Solid Leads in Last Week’s Shooting
By Brandi Makuski
Stevens Point police say there’s little new information to report on last week’s shooting.
Asst. Chief Tony Babl said officers have been working “day and night” investigating the St. Patrick’s Day shooting, which occurred on the street on the 2700 block of Fifth Ave. Babl said police still believe the shooting was drug related but declined to elaborate.
“We did another search of the area, we had officers walking the ditch line along Maria [Drive], the path the victim took to get to the university,” Babl said. “We’ve search that whole area at least twice before, but we had to make sure we didn’t miss anything before the snow came in.”
One of the two shooting victims, 21-year-old Deonta Lezine, was found by officers at Berg Gym on the UW-Stevens Point campus after being shot last week. Babl said police were unsure why Lezine chose to go to the university instead of the hospital, which was closer to where the shooting took place.
Lezine was taken by ambulance to Ministry St. Michael’s on Thursday night, but later transferred to an undisclosed trauma center where he continues to be listed in critical condition. Police have repeatedly declined to comment on the extent of Lezine’s injuries.
The other victim, identified only as a 20-year-old man, fled the city after the shooting and was treated at a hospital in Racine for what Babl called “superficial” injuries. He returned to Stevens Point Sunday night to check on Lezine’s status, and Babl said he “is cooperating” with the investigation.
Officers are still looking for the shooting suspect, 30-year-old Kyle C. Engen, who is from the Marshall, Wis. area just northeast of Madison. Engen is still at large.
“We have gotten some tips coming in, but not as many as you would expect, given the investigators’ cell numbers are out there,” Babl said. “I wouldn’t call any of the leads solid; we are not getting as much information as we would have hoped.”
Investigators from SPPD have been going door-to-door in the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, which is largely comprised of off-campus student rental housing.
“Officers and detectives have been handing out fliers this week to solicit more information, and we’re looking for any businesses or people that might have had a camera, which could have caught something,” Babl added.
Babl said his department has been in “regular contact” with law enforcement in the southern part of the state, where Engen is believed to be. Babl also said the shooting is considered an isolated incident and the public is not in danger.
“We have people working around the clock to get this person in custody,” Babl said. “He is hiding from law enforcement, so if anyone’s in danger, it’s law enforcement.”
Anyone with information can contact Det. John Lawrynk (715) 498-0454 or Det. Kent Lepak (715) 498-0012. Sgt. Joe Gruber can also be reached at (715) 346-1518.
To report information anonymously, call Portage Co. Crime Stoppers at (888) 346-6600.