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“It’s a shocker:” Man says he once hired two brothers arrested after murder, fatal drive-by on 90/94

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WEST ALLIS/DEFOREST -- The Dane County Sheriff's Office has identified the man accused of two deadly shootings in Wisconsin on Sunday, May 1st. Two of his brothers were taken into custody along with him.

20-year-old Zachary Hays of West Allis is in the hospital after being shot by sheriff's deputies on I-90/94.

His current condition is not known.

Gabriel Sanchez

Gabriel Sanchez

The Sheriff's Office said multiple counties are working together to decide what charges he will face.

Hays is suspected of killing 42-year-old Gabriel Sanchez in a West Allis apartment Sunday before shooting 44-year-old Tracy Czaczkowski in a drive-by shooting on I-90/94 in Sauk County.

According to a statement from the DEA obtained by FOX6 News on Tuesday, May 3rd, Czaczkowski passed away at the hospital.

Tracy Czaczkowski

Tracy Czaczkowski

The statement from the DEA reads as follows:

"We are sad to announce just days before Mother's Day the passing of Tracy Czaczkowski.  Tracy passed away due to injuries received from a gunshot wound on May 01, 2016.  While traveling on I-90, returning from a weekend family trip.  Tracy is a loving wife of 15 years, mother of (2) two tender age children, daughter and friend.  The husband has been a DEA employee for 11 years in service to his community and country.  The family is asking for privacy in this difficult time so that they can comfort each other.  The family would like to say thank you for the prayers and out pouring of support for Tracy.  Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time."

However, a bulletin from the Associated Press on Tuesday evening indicates Czaczkowski has been declared brain dead, but remains on life support in order to preserve her organs for donation.

Hays' brother, 30-year-old Jeremy Hays is facing a tentative charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

His other 34-year-old brother was also arrested following the officer-involved shooting on the interstate. Authorities are not releasing his name due to his cognitive disability.

Report of person shot in traffic on Hwy 39 near DeForest

Report of person shot in traffic on Hwy 39 near DeForest

"It's a shocker to me!" Eric D'Amour said.

Eric D'Amour

Eric D'Amour

D'Amour works as a contractor. He told FOX6 News he once hired Zachary and Jeremy Hays to do yard work at some of his properties.

"Jeremy worked for me first for six months. Zach worked for me once he turned 18. All of them smoked weed and stuff like that -- but running around shooting people?  It almost sounds like someone has a heroin or meth problem now," D'Amour said.

FOX6 News stopped by the Hays family home in Milwaukee. A woman believed to be the men's mother declined to comment.

"I know Jeremy was in trouble awhile back," D'Amour said.

Court records show Jeremy Hays, now 30 years old, was convicted of burglary in February of 2006. Jeremy told police Zachary "lifted the house keys from the neighbor" so that Jeremy could get inside. Police say he stole video games, a Nintendo, a PlayStation, Skittles and other items from his neighbor's home near 9th and Holt.

When police searched Hays' home for evidence, they found "numerous bottles of liquor, two glass bongs, and pipes used to smoke marijuana."

Jeremy Hays was sentenced to serve a year at the House of Correction.

In July of 2006, he was "allowed out on a pass for the Community Justice Resource Center" and never came back.

The incidents Sunday began around 7:00 a.m. -- when West Allis police were dispatched to a four-unit apartment building near 92nd and Lincoln for a report of an individual forcibly entering at least two apartments.

Officers arrived on-scene, secured the area and during their search of the building, found a man with a gunshot wound. Officials with the West Allis Fire Department attempted treatment, but Gabriel Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officers searched the apartment building and no other victims, nor the suspect, were located.

Neighbors told FOX6 News Sanchez and the suspect both lived in the building. The suspect reportedly lived upstairs, and Sanchez lived on the first floor.

FOX6 News has learned Sanchez's wife and children witnessed his murder. A fund has been set up for his funeral and burial.

Following this murder, a manhunt ensued for the suspect -- with police on scene in West Allis for most of the day. The area near 92nd and Lincoln was reopened to traffic nearly 12 hours after police first arrived at the scene.


During the course of the investigation into the homicide, police learned that a person of interest in the shooting was associated with Epikos Church on West Greenfield Avenue.

Police received information indicating the person of interest had made threatening statements regarding a member of the church. West Allis officers responded to the church to provide information to church officials and ensure the safety of church members.

No criminal activity occurred at Epikos Church.

Officials say around 2:45 p.m., there was a drive-by shooting in Sauk County on I-90/94 near Mile Marker 95.

According to Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister, a preliminary investigation has revealed that a 43-year-old man was traveling with his 44-year-old wife, Tracy Czaczkowski and two minor children -- headed eastbound on 90/94, traveling home to Illinois after visiting the Dells, when the driver of a 1998 Chevy Blazer rolled down the window and fired three rounds into the vehicle.

The Blazer then continued eastbound on 90/94, with a witness to the drive-by shooting following the suspect vehicle.

Sheriff Meister said the first round fired into the vehicle containing the family from Illinois struck the passenger side door and was then lodged in the door.

The second round entered the front passenger side of the vehicle and struck the driver's wife in the neck.

The third round was fired into the hood of the vehicle.

The children and driver weren't hurt.

Just before 3:00 p.m. Sunday, Columbia County Sheriff's officials received a report of a vehicle headed eastbound on 90/94 at a high rate of speed. At the same time, Columbia County Sheriff's officials learned from Sauk County officials of the drive-by shooting that had just occurred in Sauk County.

Columbia County Sheriff's officials were able to obtain a description of the suspect vehicle and a license plate number.

Around 3:10 p.m., a Columbia County Sheriff's deputy and a DNR warden were behind the suspect vehicle on 90/94 at Highway 78. A second deputy joined the pursuit around 3:12 p.m.

Around 3:20 p.m., Dane County Sheriff's deputies deployed stop sticks and the suspect vehicle's front tires went flat.

Around 3:22 p.m., Sheriff Meister said the 20-year-old driver of the suspect vehicle exited the vehicle and walked toward deputies with a firearm in his hand. Meister said he did not listen to commands from law enforcement officials.

He was then shot by two Columbia County Sheriff's deputies -- with 9.5 and 4.5 years of service.

Those deputies have been placed on administrative leave, per policy.


West Allis police said the suspect who was fired on was the same suspect wanted for the murder in West Allis Sunday morning.

There were two male passengers inside the suspect vehicle, ages 30 and 34 -- the suspect's brothers. They were taken into custody.

90/94 was shut down for hours Sunday.

The investigation into the murder in West Allis, the fatal drive-by shooting in Sauk County and the officer-involved shooting in Columbia County is ongoing.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office, along with the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating the officer-involved shooting.

If you were driving on 90/94 on Sunday afternoon -- law enforcement officials want to hear from you.

The telephone number for the Dane County Sheriff's Office's tip line is: 608-284-6900.


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