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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Wounded CdA officer remains in serious condition

A Coeur d’Alene Police officer seriously wounded in a sudden gunbattle that left another man dead and a garage in a suburban subdivision riddled with bullet holes, remained in serious condition Monday at a Seattle hospital.

Officials at Harborview Medical Center said Monday morning that the condition of Officer Michael Kralicek, 35, has remained unchanged since late last week. Kralicek was flown from Coeur d’Alene to Harborview at about 7 a.m. Dec. 28 – several hours after he was hit in the jaw by a bullet from a .357-magnum revolver at close quarters. His condition was upgraded from critical to serious after surgery to help with his breathing and to shore up his carotid artery.

He is believed to be the first Coeur d’Alene officer shot in the line of duty in at least 30 years.

Michael Madonna, a 39-year-old vacuum cleaner salesman rarely in trouble with the law, is the man who shot Kralicek, police say. Madonna was shot and killed by two Kootenai County Sheriff’s deputies who accompanied Kralicek to 1332 Starling Avenue in the Grouse Meadow subdivision, Hayden. Police were there to impound Madonna’s pickup truck from the driveway, in order to retrieve evidence from an earlier theft of beer kegs from a Coeur d’Alene distributor.

As the three officers were talking with Madonna in his driveway at 12:20 a.m. last Tuesday, Madonna broke away and ran into his house where, police say, he grabbed a loaded revolver from a coffee table, spun and shot twice. The first shot apparently hit Kralicek.

Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson, citing a department practice, said Monday he would not release the names of the two deputies until an investigation into the shooting is completed.

“These guys are really struggling with this,” Watson said. “All the people who were there in that garage are feeling guilty, asking themselves ‘Did I do everything right?’ Sergeants are second-guessing themselves, asking ‘Should I have sent them on that call?’ It goes right to the administration, ‘Is there equipment we could have given them? Training?’ “

Capt. Clark Rollins, heading the official Idaho State Police investigation into the shooting (the sheriff’s department is also conducting an internal review), said he had turned over much of his material to Kootenai County Prosecutor Bill Douglas on Monday afternoon. Douglas will determine whether the shooting by deputies was justified. He left his office Monday without returning several phone messages.

Three investigators with two different agencies have told The Spokesman-Review that the evidence on the garage floor closely matches the statements made by deputies.