ROTHSCHILD — The police detective killed in a string of shootings that left three others dead and the suspect injured is being remembered as a friend who would help another person in an instant.
Jason Weiland, 40, was a detective for the Everest Metro Police Department. He died Wednesday when he was shot in the line of duty.
Some of his friends told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin (http://wdhne.ws/2mCFQ3n ) that they remember him as funny, sensitive and tough.
Eric Wetzel graduated from high school with Weiland in 1995, and said the friends were in each other’s weddings. Wetzel said Weiland worked to become a leader in the Everest Metro department, and had achieved his dream job.
“He just believed in protecting people,” Wetzel said.
Nengmy Vang, 45, is accused of launching a rampage that spanned three northern Wisconsin towns on Wednesday, killing his wife’s divorce attorney, two people at the bank where his wife worked, and Weiland.
According to investigators, Vang showed up at the Rothschild bank where his wife worked on Wednesday. It’s unclear what happened, but he allegedly shot two workers, Dianne Look and Karen Barclay.
Vang then traveled to nearby Schofield, where he shot Sara Quirt Sann in her office. He then barricaded himself in his Weston apartment, fatally shooting Weiland as Weiland was setting up a perimeter.
Vang was injured in a standoff with police.
Wetzel said Weiland had a rough exterior but was a loving person, making him a great father. He stayed close with his friends from John Muir Middle School in Wausau — and continued to meet them once a year to draft fantasy football teams.
“He never judged you. He was kind of that comfortable friend,” Wetzel said. “He was that guy I could always rely on, who I could pour my heart to.”
Weiland was also remembered for some hijinks.
He studied criminal justice at Northcentral Technical College in the late 1990s. One day he called his childhood friend Dan Rennie and said he learned something new he wanted to share.
Rennie went to Weiland’s home to find the door partially open.
“All of a sudden, the door flies open. And he tackles me. And all of a sudden I’m in handcuffs,” Rennie remembered.
Two visitations for Weiland are scheduled next week in the D.C. Everest Senior High School gym.
Wetzel said Weiland’s friends plan to wear Packers gear to the visitation, saying Weiland “lived and breathed with the Green Bay Packers.”
A candlelight vigil for all four of the victims is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday at Kennedy Park in Weston.