Domestic dispute leads to tragedy at Brookfield spaWisconsin News
-- Three women were killed and four others were wounded when a gunman opened fire yesterday at a salon where his wife worked in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield. 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton of Brown Deer was found dead in the spa several hours later, after he shot himself
BROOKFIELD - Three women were killed and four others were wounded when a gunman opened fire yesterday at a salon where his wife worked in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield. 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton of Brown Deer was found dead in the spa several hours later, after he shot himself.
Brookfield Police Chief Daniel Tushaus said the incident appeared to be part of a string of domestic violence incidents. But he could not confirm the motive, and he would not immediately say if Haughton’s wife Zina was one of those killed. Police said Haughton slashed his wife’s car tires on October fourth – and last Thursday, a judge granted a four-year restraining order in which he was supposed to stay away from Zina. He was also ordered not to own a firearm.
The four survivors were ages 22-to-40. A hospital said two had surgery, and one of them was in critical condition at last word – and another victim was to have surgery last night. Authorities said they’re still talking to witnesses – and they’re still trying to establish a firm time-line of what led to the shootings. They occurred around 11 a.m. yesterday morning at the Azana Day Spa, in a two-story building across from the Brookfield Square mall. The police chief said Haughton apparently set a fire, and the building was filled with smoke when the first officers arrived. A one-pound propane tank was found – and that slowed the search for victims, as a bomb squad check out the tank. Officers were not sure if Haughton brought in the tank, or if some contractor left it behind.
Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto called it “a senseless act on the part of one person.” The shootings occurred just a half-mile from where a gunman killed seven people at a hotel church service in 2005. And it comes just 11 weeks after a white supremist killed six people and wounded four others at the Sikh Temple in the Milwaukee suburb of Oak Creek.
One of the four women injured in yesterday’s shooting spree at a suburban Milwaukee spa remains hospitalized in critical condition this morning – and the other three are satisfactory. Froedtert (fray-dert) Hospital in Wauwatosa released the condition updates. But officials have not released the names of the four wounded victims – or the three women who were killed. Police said 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton of Brown Deer stormed into the Azana Salon-and-Spa near the Brookfield Square mall, and fired numerous shots.
The Journal Sentinel said Haughton might have also tried to take a receptionist hostage after he shot in the leg. Friends of the woman told the paper that the gunman tried to drag her up a set of stairs – but she couldn’t move due to a broken hip. The woman, who’s said to be in her 20’s from East Troy, told friends she found an open door and rolled down a hillside. Haughton was found dead in the spa several hours after the shootings. Investigators have not announced a motive, but police said it appears to be domestic in nature. Haughton’s estranged wife Zita worked at the spa. Police said Haughton slashed the tires on Zita’s car earlier this month, and a judge later ordered him to stay away from her for four years. He was also told not to possess firearms. Officials have not said whether Zita was among those killed, but Milwaukee’s WTMJ T-V said she was.
About 50 people held a candlelight vigil at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek last night, as a sign of support for those killed-and-injured in yesterday’s shootings at a spa in Brookfield. Three women were killed and four others were injured by a gunman whose wife was working at the time at the Azana Salon-and-Spa near the Brookfield Square mall. Domestic troubles appeared to have caused the shootings, but police are still investigating. The Sikh Temple members continue to grieve from their own massacre just two-and-a-half months before – when a gunman killed six worshippers and wounded four people shortly before a Sunday service. Pardeep Kaleka, a son of the temple’s president who was murdered, said some of his members wanted to help the Brookfield victims, just like many people had helped them. Pardeep provided counseling in Brookfield earlier in the day. He said the vigil had a lot of meaning because quote, “Light comes from darkness.” And he said the candlelight prayers are a way of “healing with something tragic happens.” The owner of the spa said she was devastated. Tami Gemmell said her first concern is for the victims and their families, and for the spa’s family. Gemmell said she and the spa employees quote, “remain in shock over how this could have happened.”
President Obama has expressed condolences to the families of those killed and injured in a shooting spree at a suburban Milwaukee spa yesterday. Three women died and four others were wounded at the Azana Day Spa near the Brookfield Square mall. Police said it appeared to be part of a string of domestic incidents involving the gunman’s wife who worked at the spa. Obama assured Governor Scott Walker and Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto that the federal government will provide whatever resources are necessary to help with the investigation. The president said both he and First Lady Michelle Obama have the people of Wisconsin in their thoughts and prayers. Walker issued a statement declaring quote, “We will band together as a state and a community to seek justice for the victims, and comfort those left behind.” Brookfield Police said the community has nothing to fear, after the gunman – 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton of Brown Deer – was found dead in the salon a few hours after the shootings. It happened in the center of a major shopping district in the Milwaukee area. Almost the whole area was shut down between the late morning shootings, and the time Radcliffe’s body was found about six hours later. Froedtert Hospital, where the survivors were taken, was locked down after reports that the gunman might have gone there. Police did not immediately confirm that Haughton’s wife Zita was murdered in the shooting spree – but W-T-M-J in Milwaukee said she’s among the dead.