The quick actions of Waukesha police officers prevented a tragedy Tuesday afternoon after a 76-year-old Sussex man shot at them while they were interviewing his ex-wife about a domestic violence incident at her home.
“The suspect pointed a long gun at the officers and shot at the officers,” said Police Chief Russell Jack. “The officers then returned fire. The officers disengaged from the residence with the victim.”
The man was arrested without incident at 5:16 p.m. and no officers were shot, according to Jack. Patch is not naming the man until he has been charged. He was the director of clowns for the Tripoli Shrine Center in 2008, according to the group's website.
“One officer suffered a minor injury while securing the victim,” Jack said. “The victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is being treated at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. The suspect was not injured during this investigation.”
The police department was to called the residence in the 1800 block of Racine Avenue at 4:13 p.m. for the domestic violence incident. The two are divorced and the woman had a restraining order filed against the man. Court records show the man lives in Sussex.
"This is a residence with a history of domestic related incidents," Jack said.
The man was in court on Tuesday, where he was found in contempt of court in his divorce case for not signing a tax refund document. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail or he could sign the tax refund and pay $130 within 30 days.
The man was also ordered to pay his ex-wife, who was to keep the tax refund, $350 within 30 days.
A restraining order with a weapon prohibition against the man was granted in 2010 to last through 2014, although court records do not indicate if it was the man’s ex-wife who filed the restraining order.
In addition to the FBI, Waukesha Police Department and the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, police departments from Brookfield, the Town of Brookfield, Butler, Oconomowoc, New Berlin and the Wisconsin State Patrol responded to the scene.
A spokeswoman for Waukesha Memorial Hospital told Patch the hospital was treating two female patients for minor injuries. Both are in good condition, the spokeswoman said.
The Waukesha Police Department's tactical team arrived on the scene at about 5 p.m. The Sheriff's Department also set up a command post. A chaplain who works with the police department also arrived on the scene at about 5:15 p.m.
Brookfield Shooting Not Forgotten
The domestic violence incident occurred two days after Radcliffe Haughton shot and killed three women at a Brookfield spa. Haughton was ordered to not possess guns as a term of a restraining order his wife, Zina Haughton, had obtained against him. Zina Haughton, a hairstylist at the Azana Salon & Spa, was killed in the shooting.
“When the officers put out an all needs assistance, especially in close proximity to the recent incidents we have had in southeastern Wisconsin, that is another reason we so many agencies responded to help out their fellow officers and to make sure the citizens and the scene is safe,” Jack said.
One Brookfield grandmother who was waiting to get into a nearby residence told Waukesha Patch her teenage granddaughter was home alone at a neighboring home. The woman, who would not give her name, told Patch that her granddaughter was at Brookfield Square Mall on Sunday when Haughton opened fire at the salon across the street from the mall.
“It’s very eerie,” said the woman, shaking her head. “Now this.”
Sally Jansen lives in the neighborhood and believes she knew the suspect and the victim, based on the suspect’s age and history of domestic violence.
“About two or three years ago, he was hauled off by police officers for domestic abuse and was removed from our premises,” Jansen said. “I was told he couldn’t come back for four years. I just know that there has been a lot of battle in the court system with it.”