Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wausau Shooting, Police Officer Killed

Yesterday was filled with big news stories. There was a terror attack in London. A vote on the Republican health care bill is nearing with results uncertain. Neil Gorsuch confirmation hearings continue. Devin Nunes talked about the "incidental" surveillance of President Trump and his transition team.

Closer to home, the most significant and tragic event was the shooting near Wausau that left four people dead, including a police officer.

From the Wausau Daily Herald:
An Everest Metro police officer and three others are dead following a shooting spree Wednesday afternoon.

The officer is believed to be the first in Wisconsin killed in the line of duty this year.

Everest Metro Police Chief Wally Sparks confirmed the deaths at a press conference shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday. The shooter is in police custody, Sparks said. He declined to release names of those involved pending notification of family members.

The shootings began as part of a "domestic situation," according to a press release from the Rothschild Police Department. The first report of a disturbance came at 12:27 p.m. when Rothschild officers were called to the Marathon Savings Bank at 1133 E. Grand Ave. Officers found two people shot there, and the suspect gone.

Wausau Police Capt. Todd Baeten said more shots were reported around 1:10 p.m. from the law firm Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks in Schofield. A third call came at 1:30 p.m. from the Aspen Street Apartments complex in Weston, where the shooting suspect stayed for the remainder of the afternoon. Baeten said officers communicated with him from where he was inside the complex.

...Shortly before 2:30 p.m., SWAT teams entered an apartment building at Aspen Street and Ross Avenue, according to a reporter at the scene. Soon after, a resident there saw police ushering people, including children, out of the building. A USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter saw SWAT team members and two bomb robots at the scene.

...At roughly 4:55 p.m., a USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin reporter at the scene heard numerous gunshots near the apartments, and within 15 minutes an ambulance had sped away from the scene with its lights flashing and siren sounding, and police began to leave. The standoff had ended.
I'm surprised the shooter didn't kill himself. He chose to live and face the consequences for his horrific crimes rather than die.

Of course, he didn't give his victims a choice.

My heart goes out to the grieving families, friends, and co-workers of those killed on Wednesday. My thoughts are with members of the law enforcement community mourning the loss of an officer.

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