By Brendan O'Brien
MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A recently graduated Wisconsin state trooper and a man suspected of robbing a bank and killing a man in far northern Wisconsin were killed in an exchange of gunfire outside a store in Fond du Lac, authorities said on Wednesday.
Trooper Trevor Casper was shot on Tuesday night after pursuing a vehicle matching the description of one driven by the suspect in a bank robbery committed in Marinette County earlier that day, authorities said.
Casper, who had completed training in December, and the suspect, Steven Timothy Snyder of Michigan, both suffered fatal wounds in the shoot-out behind a store in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, said the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is leading the investigation.
Several crimes were committed in Marinette County and Fond du Lac on Tuesday and investigators were trying to determine whether they are related, the department said.
Video surveillance shows Snyder robbing a bank on Tuesday afternoon in Wausaukee, a village in Marinette County near Wisconsin's northeast border with Michigan, the department said.
Snyder fled the robbery in a bank employee's vehicle, Marinette County Sheriff Jerry Sauve said in a statement.
Less than an hour later, Thomas Christ, 59, was found dead on a roadside by his property near Wausaukee and the bank employee's vehicle was found nearby, leading investigators to believe the suspect shot Christ and fled, Sauve said.
He said a description of a vehicle wanted in the incidents was then broadcast to law enforcement.
Four hours later and more than 110 miles south in Fond du Lac, Casper was following a vehicle that matched the description of one connected to the bank robbery when he and Snyder exchanged fatal shots, the state Justice Department said.
Fond du Lac Police Chief William Lamb said the suspect also may have robbed a bank in Fond du Lac before the state trooper encountered him. The state Justice Department said it has not been confirmed that Snyder robbed a Fond du Lac bank.
"Trooper Trevor Casper was killed while bravely serving his community and doing his duty to keep our citizens safe," Governor Scott Walker said in a statement.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; editing by W Simon, Gunna Dickson and Eric Beech)