WESTON -- Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Justice said Thursday, March 23rd a 45-year-old Weston man is in police custody at the hospital after a series of shooting incidents Wednesday near Wausau. A police officer and three others -- two bank employees and an attorney were killed.
DOJ officials said in a statement the shootings were motivated by a domestic incident involving the suspect's wife, who wasn't hurt. The suspect's name has not been released at this point. DOJ officials said Thursday they would do so "in the near future."
According to the DOJ, this all began around 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, when a report came in regarding an active shooter at Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild.
67-year-old Dianne Look and 62-year-old Karen Barclay died after they were shot at the bank.
According to DOJ officials, Look grew up in many places, but she called Wisconsin home. A graduate of DC Everest High School, Look was the loving mother to two children, Christy Bleu and Chuck Mientke. Look will be remembered as a loyal employee of Marathon Savings Bank, where she has been a branch manager since 1998. Look valued the customer relationship and loved to serve her customers and neighbors. Look met her husband, Robert Look, while working at a local bank in 1988. The two married in 1992 and lived in South Dakota for a number of years before returning to Wisconsin in 1998. They have resided in Wisconsin since. Look and Robert celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this past Valentine's Day.
Karen Barclay moved to Wisconsin in 1993 and was employed at Marathon Savings Bank for more than five years. She was a loving mother to one daughter and two granddaughters, ages four and seven. Barclay will always be remembered as “mum mum” by her granddaughters. Barclay was extremely dedicated to her work. She loved her holidays, co-workers, and spending time with family," DOJ officials said.
Nicholas Zillges, president and CEO of Marathon Savings Bank, issued the following statement:
"We are deeply grieved by the tragic loss of life in our community, and especially for the lives of our dear friends and colleagues who were among the victims of yesterday’s shootings.
Karen and Dianne were both warm, wonderful women who were beloved by our Marathon Savings Bank family. We are heartbroken over the loss of our friends and mourn for their families and for the families of all of the victims.
We are grateful for the courageous and selfless service of our local law enforcement and first responders – and extend our deepest condolences to the family of Officer Weiland who died protecting our community.
We have been profoundly moved by the outpouring of support we have seen today. We are proud to be a part of such a strong and close-knit community that has come together to support and care for each other in the most difficult of times."
43-year-old Sara Quirt Sann, an attorney, was killed at a law office in Schofield.
Quirt Sann was a life-long resident of Wausau. She was a loving wife, daughter, sister, stepmom, aunt, friend, and a community servant. Sara loved golf, yoga, practicing law, and her dog, Mary, DOJ officials said.
The suspect ended this violent spree by barricading himself in an apartment in Weston. After a few hours of negotiation, the suspect exchanged gunfire with responding officers and was injured. He was in police custody at the hospital as of Thursday afternoon.
DOJ officials said a law enforcement officer with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office’s tactical team and an officer with the Everest Metropolitan Police Department were involved in the exchange of gunfire that resulted in the suspect’s injury. The involved officers are on paid, administrative leave, pending the outcome of this investigation.
40-year-old Jason Weiland, a detective and 15-year veteran of the Everest Metro Police Department was also killed by the suspect in this case.
DOJ officials said Detective Weiland spent 18 years in law enforcement, all of them in the Wausau area -- the last 15 with the Everest Metropolitan Police Department. He is survived by his wife and two children, and he was a devoted Green Bay Packers fan.
A memorial fund for the Weiland family has been established through Intercity State Bank, 2900 Schofield Avenue, Weston, WI 54476. Donations for the family can be directed to Intercity State Bank under the name of “Weiland Memorial Fund.”
No one else was hurt during this incident Wednesday.
Businesses affected by these events are closed until further notice.
On Thursday, a police officer sat in a parked SUV outside the law firm in Schofield. Yellow crime-scene tape surrounded the building and someone had left flowers on the sidewalk outside.
The shooting at the bank in Rothschild was reported around midday. Officers responding to a "domestic situation" arrived at the bank to find two people were shot and the suspect had fled. It wasn't clear if those two victims were among the dead.
Janet Schoenfeldt, who owns a hair salon behind the bank, said she was at the front desk around 1 p.m. Wednesday when squad cars poured into the parking log, followed by ambulances. An officer then told her to close her shop and get out of the area.
"It's a sad reality. Someone taking innocent lives over something he's upset about," Schoenfeldt. "We're a small-knit community. You just don't think it will happen here. Everybody says that, but you know what? It does happen here."
A second call came about 10 minutes later from Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks, a law firm in nearby Schofield. Authorities did not say if one of the victims was killed there. The action then moved to an apartment complex in Weston.
Dozens of police vehicles were still parked in front of the apartment building Thursday where the suspect allegedly shot and killed an Everest Metro officer. The apartment, which appeared to be a duplex or larger, was ringed with yellow crime-scene tape. Officers could be seen walking around with clipboards.
A woman who lives in the complex said she looked out of her apartment window at around 1:15 p.m. to see a squad car approach, and a few seconds later heard a gunshot and saw an officer fall. Kelly Hanson, 21, told The Associated Press she saw other officers put the wounded policeman in an armored SWAT vehicle and take him away. She couldn't tell if he was alive or dead and police have not said if this was the officer who died.
"I thought, 'What is going on?' I know what a gun sounds like, and thought, 'This isn't good,'" Hanson said. She stayed inside her apartment.
The Wausau Daily Herald reported that SWAT team members entered the apartment building at around 2:30 p.m.
Hanson said she heard about 10 shots at around 4:45 p.m. and began to "freak out."
Another resident, Susan Thompson, told the Daily Herald that she heard gunshots and screams. Police told the 21-year-old mother to stay inside with her two-year-old daughter and to lock her doors.
Below is a timeline of Wednesday's events:
12:27 p.m. — Police are dispatched to a "domestic situation" at the Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild, about 90 miles west of Green Bay.
12:59 p.m. —Emergency responders get a call from the bank reporting that shots were fired. Police officers from around the Wausau area respond. They find two people with gunshot wounds. The suspect is gone.
1:10 p.m. — Shots are reported about 1½ miles away at the Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks law office in Schofield.
1:11 p.m. — Weston Village Administrator Daniel Guild posts on Facebook that police are responding to "an active shooter situation."
1:30 p.m. — Police are called to the Aspen Street Apartments complex about 1½ miles east of the law office. Shots are fired.
2:02 p.m. — The D.C. Everest School District based in Weston reports that its schools were locked down.
About 2:30 p.m. — SWAT teams enter a building at the apartment complex.
3:40 p.m. — School lockdowns are lifted at all but two schools.
By 4 p.m. — Aspirus Wausau Hospital ends its lockdown.
About 5 p.m. — Wausau police Capt. Todd Baeten tells reporters a police officer was one of the people shot, but did not reveal the extent of the victims' conditions. He says officers are "in contact with a suspect" at the apartment complex.
About 5 p.m. — Students from the two schools are taken to a safe location under police security where parents could pick them up.
8 p.m. — Police announce one Everest Metro police officer, three other people dead; say suspect in custody.
Schimel issued a statement Thursday applauding the courage of officers who responded to Wednesday's shootings. He said the following:
"The law enforcement officers who responded to yesterday’s devastating shootings are our society’s most courageous leaders, and the officer with the Everest Metropolitan Police Department who lost his life protecting his community will forever be remembered a hero.
I pray for the four victims, and their family, friends, and colleagues, as well as the countless law enforcement officers who restored peace and order to the Wausau community in the wake of these attacks and continue the difficult work of investigating this tragedy."
Gov. Scott Walker issued the following statement:
"This was a horrific act of violence that tragically took the lives of four innocent people. On behalf of the entire State of Wisconsin, Tonette and I send our thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims, to Chief Wally Sparks and all members of the Everest Metropolitan Police Department, and to the Rothschild, Schofield, and Weston communities. We want you to know that we all stand with you and seek to comfort you as you mourn the loss of your loved ones."
State Sen. Van Wanggaard also issued the following statement on Thursday:
"The incidents near Wausau yesterday are shocking to all Wisconsin. I ask people to keep all the victims, their families and friends in their prayers. I also hope everyone will thank the entire Everest Metropolitan Police Department for their actions, and remember our officer who bravely gave his life protecting the public."