BRANSON, Mo – On February 28, 2023, at approximately 10:00 p.m., Branson officers located a known wanted subject at a gas station in the 1100 block of W. 76 Country Blvd. and made contact with the driver, who was alone in the vehicle with a dog.
After an initial investigation into the driver’s identity, it was determined that he was Randall Wesolek Jr., of Taney County. When officers instructed Wesolek to exit the car, a struggle ensued, a gun was produced and officers fired their weapons. The officers secured the scene and began performing life saving measures for Wesolek who died of his injuries on scene. His family has been notified. No officers were injured. Wesolek’s dog, a grey and white Pit Bull type breed, appeared to have been injured in the incident and ran off while the officers were securing the scene. Officers have not been able to locate the dog.
“This is a tragic situation and our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the involved persons and their families,” said Chief Schmitt. “We understand this incident will have long lasting impacts for all involved, as well as our community. Please remember that regardless of the circumstances of this incident, this community values human life. We should remember to give respect as we move forward. It is crucial that a thorough, fair and impartial investigation of this incident be completed. We will provide you information on how this process will proceed,” Chief Schmitt said.
One Sergeant and two patrol officers fired their weapons and all have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings. Police Chief Schmitt has formally requested the assistance of the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) to conduct a full investigation into this incident which is also standard operating procedure. MSHP immediately responded to the scene and assumed control of the investigation. After their investigation is complete, BPD will conduct its own internal investigation then provide the information to the community in a critical incident briefing about this incident and the results of the investigations.
The Branson Police Department would ask the community to be patient as the investigation unfolds as it will take some time. It would also like to thank all neighboring agencies that assisted including the Branson Fire Rescue and the Taney County Ambulance District (TCAD), and the Taney County Sheriff’s Office.
You can find the news conference on this incident at www.bransonmo.gov/livestream.