A Sheldon man was arrested, Friday, April 9, in Rusk County, following his suspected involvement in the shooting death of his son.
Scott P. O’Brien, 59, was arrested and law enforcement requested a possible charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a firearm from the Rusk County District Attorney’s office. No formal charges have been filed as of Tuesday, April 13.
O’Brien appeared via Zoom on Monday, April 12, for a bond hearing. Rusk County District Attorney Annette Barna argued for a $25,000 cash bond with absolute sobriety for O’Brien. Defense attorney Ryan Raymond argued for a lower cash bond due to a lack of criminal history.
The court ordered a $10,000 cash bond for O’Brien, with the conditions for absolute sobriety and to not possession any firearms.
O’Brien was released from Rusk County Jail after paying the $10,000 cash bond on Monday, April 12.
According to a probable cause statement, at 6:27 p.m., on Friday, April 9, Rusk County Dispatch received a non-emergency call from Chippewa County Dispatch which had received the initial 911 call. The caller, O’Brien, allegedly reported he shot and killed his son, Jesse R. O’Brien, 36.
O’Brien’s first statement to the dispatcher was, “Hey, ah, Scott O’Brien here. I just killed Jesse O’Brien.”
O’Brien allegedly stated he had shot Jesse in the head in the hallway of his home after being attacked. O’Brien also told the dispatcher that Jesse had been abusing him for a long time, according to the probable cause statement.
O’Brien said Jesse had attacked him out of nowhere, saying, “I’ll kill you old man.” After making that statement, Jesse allegedly grabbed his father around the neck and threw him to the ground. O’Brien allegedly told the dispatcher he had several firearms in the home and had shot his son with a pistol.
Shortly thereafter, deputies arrived at the O’Brien residence in the town of Marshall and found him outside of the residence, still on the phone with Rusk County Dispatch. He allegedly smelled of intoxicants.
O’Brien told deputies the pistol used in the shooting was on the counter. Officers located a black .357 revolver with a wood grip handle on the kitchen counter.
According to the probable cause statement, deputies and an officer from the Ladysmith Police Department searched the home for a patient in need of medical attention and for officer safety.
Upon entering the home through an east door between the home and garage, officers found a man in a seated position, leaning against a door to the garage in what appeared to be a lifeless state. The man, identified as Jesse O’Brien, had what appeared to be a head wound and a beer bottle by his feet.
Jesse O’Brien did not exhibit any signs of life or movement due to the trauma of the head wound.The Sheldon Ambulance arrived and EMTs were unable to detect any signs of life with the use an automated external defibrillator, AED.
In an interview at the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, a Rusk County investigator noticed a strong odor of alcohol coming from O’Brien. He told the investigator that his son had attacked him by grabbing him by the neck, had thrown him in the dining room and tried to strangle him.
According to the probable cause, Jesse told his father, “I’ll kill you [expletive].” O’Brien told the investigator that he didn’t know what had caused the attack. O’Brien allegedly said that when the attack was over, Jesse grabbed a beer and walked into the entryway.
Jesse allegedly told O’Brien that he was done with him and came at him “full boar.” When asked by the investigator if he had already gotten the pistol, O’Brien replied “stroke of midnight.” Confused, the investigator questioned him again about shooting Jesse and O’Brien allegedly admitted to shooting him once or twice.
When asked if a bullet struck Jesse, O’Brien allegedly said, “killed him deader than [expletive].”
O’Brien told the investigator he didn’t know where he was aiming when he shot Jesse but that it was a “knee-jerk reaction.”
“Who wants to kill your son? Nobody,” said O’Brien to the investigator.
Prior to the shooting, O’Brien allegedly drank two-thirds of a bottle of Revel Stoke honey whiskey and had not drank anything afterwards. The investigator did not notice any markings on O’Brien that could have indicated in a physical altercation with Jesse.
Following the interview, O’Brien was taken to Marshfield Medical Center – Ladysmith for a legal blood draw.
O’Brien is scheduled to appear for a hearing in Rusk County Circuit Court on Tuesday, April 20.