A former circuit judge is said to be the victim of murder in Wisconsin, which the attorney general is calling a targeted attack on those who were “part of the judicial system.”
A gunman shot and killed a retired Juneau County judge Friday morning in what Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul called a “targeted act” against the judicial system.
The unidentified shooter killed John Roemer, 68, at the judge’s home in the town of Lisbon around 6:30 a.m., officials said.
State Sen. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, who represents Juneau County, confirmed Roemer’s death in a statement, adding “we never expect violent tragedy to strike in our small, close-knit communities.”
During a news conference Friday afternoon, Kaul did not confirm Roemer’s identity, but said the gunman had compiled a list of other potential targets. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Gov. Tony Evers appeared on the gunman’s list.
The attorney general would not release the name of the 56-year-old shooter or identify other potential targets.
“So far, the information that’s been gathered indicates that it was a targeted act and the targeting appears to be based on some sort of court case or court cases,” Kaul said.
“We’re limited in what information we can provide at this point,” Kaul added, citing the ongoing investigation.
The Juneau County Sheriff’s Office first responded to the scene after another person in the residence fled to a nearby home and contacted authorities, Kaul said.
A tactical team entered the residence just after 10:30 a.m., and found the gunman, who had shot himself, in the basement, Kaul said. The shooter was hospitalized in critical condition.
Lorenz Duschamps adds:
The judge’s death was also confirmed in a statement by State Sen. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green), who represents Juneau County, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
The Juneau County Sheriff’s Office received a call that two shots were fired at a home in New Lisbon at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Friday, according to the Division of Criminal Investigation. The caller had fled the home where the gunman had entered and made the call from another nearby home.
Donna Voss, a neighbor, told The Associated Press that local police instructed her to stay in her home Friday morning. She said she heard law enforcement on a loudspeaker telling the man to surrender and leave the home.
For Voss, the shooting came as a shock in a usually quiet neighborhood where houses sit alongside farmland and wooded lots, about 80 miles northwest of Madison.
“It’s unbelievable and really freaky,” she told The Associated Press.
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