A police officer and three other people were killed in a series of shootings Wednesday in northern Wisconsin that apparently began as a domestic dispute in a bank, officials said.
Everest Metro Police Chief Wally Sparks said at a news conference the slain officer was from his department. Sparks did not release the officer’s name or the names of the other three dead. Sparks said a suspect in connection to the shooting spree was in custody.
The shootings happened at a bank, a law firm and an apartment complex in an area about 90 miles west of Green Bay, Wausau police Capt. Todd Baeten said at an earlier news conference.
“As you all know this is a complex and ongoing investigation involving three crime scenes and multiple victims of shootings at those locations,” he said. After Baeten’s earlier news conference, WSAW-TV reported that about a dozen shots were heard at the building around 5 p.m. local time and an ambulance arrived at the scene.
A woman who lives in the complex told the Associated Press she looked out her apartment window in the small town of Weston about 1:15 p.m. to see a squad car approach, and a few seconds later heard a gunshot and saw the officer fall. Kelly Hanson, 21, said she saw other officers put the wounded policeman in an armored SWAT vehicle and take him away.
“I thought, what is going on? I know what a gun sounds like, and thought ‘This isn’t good,'” Hanson said. Hanson said she stayed in her apartment until about 4:45 p.m. when she heard a volley of about 10 shots and began to “freak out.” Authorities eventually let her leave her apartment.
“It’s tragic that had to happen, but I think they did a good job out here today,” she told the AP.
Dozens of police cars and emergency vehicles responded after the first shooting happened around 12:30 p.m. at Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild. Officers responding to a reported domestic situation arrived to find two people had been shot.
A second call then came about 10 minutes later from the Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks law firm in nearby Schofield, and then a third report came in at 1:30 p.m. from an apartment complex in Weston.
SWAT members entered the apartment building about 2:30 p.m., the Wausau Daily Herald reported. Nearby schools and a hospital went on lockdown. The lockdowns were later lifted.
Susan Thompson, a resident of the building, told the newspaper she heard gunshots and heard someone scream. As she left her apartment, police called to her to get inside and lock her doors. Thompson, 21, said she had her 2-year-old daughter in the apartment. Officers later came to her door and helped her and her daughter outside, she said.