BROOKFIELD — Who is Radcliffe Haughton? What was going through the mind of the gunman as he opened fire on seven people at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield on Sunday, October 21st?
FOX6 News learned Haughton most recently was a student at Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). He was getting ready to apply to the nursing program. Fellow students and Haughton’s anatomy professor, Geoffrey Lee, noticed about two to three weeks ago, something wasn’t quite right with the normally fun-loving, loud and friendly student who never missed a day of class.
“He was always kind of a louder, more lively person — not one to be in the background. Always in the front row,” Lee said.
Prof. Lee said he noticed things changed a few weeks ago. Haughton seemed depressed and told Lee he had personal problems.
“He was a promising student and I wanted to make sure he could get through the program and he could be example. When I heard he was going through this, he didn’t go into details, but said his wife was asking him to leave. One of the main concerns he had was he couldn’t afford to live somewhere else,” Lee said.
The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department confirmed on October 8th, Haughton was served a summons for a restraining order.
On October 8th, Haughton posted the following to his Facebook page: “Need to get out of Wisconsin, help.” On October 9th, he wrote: “Can anyone help get me out of Wisconsin?”
In court on October 18th, Haughton was ordered to turn in his firearms to the Sheriff’s department when he received a four-year “no contact” order.
“He called me on the verge of tears. At that point, I tried to get him some help — to do what we call at MATC a retention alert. But we need to get his okay for that, so I put him in for retention alert. He said it was okay for me to get started,” Prof. Lee said.
Professor Lee was hopeful the school could help Haughton with housing or any other help he needed to get through his personal problems.
Two weeks ago Monday, Haughton told Lee he didn’t think he could make it through his exam.
“He tried taking the test. I could tell he couldn’t focus. After five, 10 minutes, he couldn’t focus, so he turned his test in. As he turned his test in, I said, ‘Why don’t you do it Friday?’ and he looked really sad. At that point, I gave him a big hug and I said to him, ‘You look like you could use a big hug,’” Prof. Lee said.
Lee expected Haughton to show up for a make-up exam Friday. Haughton did not show. That hug would be the last time Prof. Lee would see Haughton.
“I think he just felt trapped and he snapped,” Prof. Lee said.
Prof. Lee says in no way does he condone Haughton’s actions. He says it’s just been a long and painful day, text messaging back and forth to fellow students in this class.
Haughton had worked at several car dealerships before going to MATC.
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