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Police officer among 4 dead in Wisconsin killing spree

WESTON, Wis. — Four people including a police officer are dead and a suspect is in custody after shootings at a bank and a law firm in northern Wisconsin, followed by a standoff at an apartment complex that ended in a volley of gunfire.

Police characterized the initial shooting at the Marathon Savings Bank in Rothschild on Wednesday afternoon as a domestic dispute, but have provided no details about the suspect or victims. Authorities said late Wednesday that there is no remaining threat to the public.

Jason Smith, a deputy administrator for the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, said more than 100 officers are investigating and that more information will be released Thursday.

The violence unfolded in a cluster of small towns south of Wausau, about 90 miles west of Green Bay. The officer worked for Everest Metro, a small, 27-officer force that serves Schofield and Weston.

 

“I would like to send all my thoughts and ask everybody listening, ‘Thoughts and prayers to all the victims and their families.’” Everest Metro Chief Wally Sparks said. “Please keep them in your prayers and be with our officers.”

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.

A second call came about 10 minutes later from Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks, a law firm in nearby Schofield. The action then moved to an apartment complex in Weston.

A woman who lives in the complex said she looked out of her apartment window about 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.

“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 about 2:30 p.m.

Hanson said she heard about 10 shots at about 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 2-year-old daughter and to lock her doors.

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