2022 WI Deaths

As of December 28th, at least 104 Wisconsin lives have been lost to domestic violence in 2022. That’s one person killed every 3.5 days.  11% of victims were age 18 or under. Our website defines domestic violence-related death somewhat differently than the state coalition, End Abuse, WI. We consider sibling and parent/child incidents also as domestic violence, including family cases where intimate partner violence may not have been a factor. We believe that all incidents that happen within a family or intimate partner relationship constitute domestic violence.

January 6th:  Quinette Walters, Age 41 – Milwaukee


Milwaukee police are investigating a double shooting that happened near 36th and Clarke on Thursday morning, Jan. 6.  Police say 41-year-old Quinette Walters of Milwaukee suffered fatal injuries. A 14-year-old girl sustained life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a local hospital for treatment.  Investigators say there is no threat to the public and they know who they are looking for, but no arrests have been made.  A double shooting is pushing this neighborhood to its breaking point. Christal West is a community health specialist with Amani United:  “She died on this cold, cold ground. People and our children are just becoming very numb to death. It’s almost like breathing,” she said.

Milwaukee police say the shooting happened just before 8 a.m. Thursday.  Police left as more gunshots rang out in a separate incident nearby. Officials say a 41-year-old woman was killed here and a 14-year-old also suffered life-threatening injuries.  West says they are mother and daughter, with the girl escaping the home through a window.  “See this screen, all the way toward the back?  Jumped out of the window for whatever reason,” West said.  Police are calling this an act of domestic violence:  While investigators say there is no threat to the public…west points out this isn’t far from where 25-year-old Mallery Muenzenberger was found dead in October.  “Not even 100 yards – you have a body that was found,” she said.  Another case of domestic violence that had the community searching for her son, a 3-year-old Major Harris, who was later found dead.  “This didn’t have to happen.  None of these murders have to happen.”  An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.
January 19th:  Judith Mastrocola, Age 78 – Chilton

Chilton police say the deaths of two people in a home last January were a murder-suicide involving a son and his mother.  Police say based on the final autopsy report, 78-year-old Judith A. Mastrocola and 54-year-old Matthew M. Moore both died from a single gunshot wound. Through physical evidence and witness interviews, police pieced together that Moore shot his mother and then himself.  Police say the two lived together at the home on N. Madison St.  Their bodies were found on January 19 by a visiting home health worker who was making a regular visit to the house.  Chilton Police received assistance from the Calumet and Fond du Lac county medical examiners offices, the Wisconsin Department of Justice-Division of Criminal Investigation, and other agencies.

January 17th:  Keyon Roundtree, Age 29 – Milwaukee


A Milwaukee man, 29, died after he was shot near 60th and Good Hope Monday afternoon, Jan. 17.  Police said the shooting around 1:15 p.m. was the result of an argument.  No arrests have been made.

January 17th:  Erin N. Stott, Age 44- Milwaukee

A Milwaukee man and woman died from gunshot injuries on the city’s southwest side Monday afternoon, according to the Milwaukee Police Department. On Tuesday, police said the incident is possibly a murder-suicide, however, it is still under investigation.  Around 1:30 p.m. on the 3400 block of South Honey Creek Court, a 44-year-old woman and a 48-year-old man sustained “fatal gunshot injuries,” police said. The circumstances leading up to the shooting are under investigation, according to police. No arrests have been made.

January 25th – Ricardo Perkins, age 40 – Milwaukee

A Milwaukee man is charged with first-degree reckless homicide for a shooting that happened near 99th and Appleton on Tuesday, Jan. 25.  Prosecutors accuse Rayshawn Perkins, 22, of shooting his father in the head, killing him.  Officers at the scene of the shooting arrested Perkins and alerted fellow officers that the victim was in the back of the residence. According to a criminal complaint, the victim was found lying on the ground.  The victim, 40, was taken to the hospital for treatment shortly before 2 p.m. Just after 6:30 p.m. that night, he was declared dead. An autopsy the next day confirmed the victim had been shot in the head from “indeterminate range.”  A woman who lived at the residence told investigators that Perkins has diagnosed mental health disorders and had been having more frequent “outbursts.” The woman and several others tried to separate Perkins and the victim.

January 26th – Dwayne Johnson, Sr., age 56 – Milwaukee


Isaiah Wheeler didn’t know the man who stepped in while he and his girlfriend argued outside a northside school building last year.  The man outweighed him by more than 70 pounds and called him out for picking on a woman.  And it appeared to reach for something in his waist band. Or at least that’s what Wheeler claimed to jurors.

So, he opened fire.  “I thought he was gonna shoot me,” Wheeler said from the witness stand. “I believed he was going to kill me.”The jury didn’t buy it.  The panel of nine men and three women on Friday found Wheeler, 19, guilty of second-degree intentional homicide in the Jan. 26, 2022, death of Dwayne Johnson, Sr.  Prosecutors believe the motorist intervened during a dispute between Wheeler and his girlfriend on the 5400 block of North 72nd Street and was shot to death for doing so.  Wheeler, who was 17 at the time of the killing, also was convicted of possession of a firearm in violation of an earlier juvenile court conviction.  A key piece of evidence in Assistant District Attorney Grant Huebner’s case against Wheeler was video that was captured by a neighbor’s front-porch camera.  It showed footage of Wheeler and Shayla Moore, with whom he shares a child, walking in the snow. The two had earlier been in a vehicle driven by Nina Wheeler, the suspect’s mother.

Nina Wheeler and Moore had argued, and Nina Wheeler kicked her out the vehicle.  Moore is seen in the video walking, and Isaiah Wheeler pursuing her. Once he caught up to her, they began to quarrel as well. He shook her to gain control of the situation.  The incident attracted attention. Cars started to slow down as they neared the pair.  “She (Moore) was causing a scene,” Wheeler told jurors.  Johnson is seen in the video getting out of his truck and motioning toward the pair. Eventually, Johnson steps between Moore and Wheeler.  Wheeler is seen pointing a gun at Johnson, then Johnson falls to the ground.  Wheeler testified Thursday and promoted the theory he shot Johnson in self-defense. Huebner and Wheeler sparred over whether Wheeler intended to kill Johnson.  Huebner argued the savagery of the shooting, in itself, was revealing; Wieslawa Tlomak, the county’s chief medical examiner testified he was shot six times. Four of the shots were fired at Johnson after he collapsed.  “Your intent was clear,” Huebner said. “You intended to kill him.”  Credibility became an issue for Nina Wheeler and Moore, two of Isaiah Wheeler’s chief witnesses.  Moore, 20, was charged in March in the stabbing death of a 16-year-old boy. She faces second-degree intentional homicide in that matter.  Nina Wheeler, 40, faces charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and of causing bodily harm or threat to a health care provider or family member.  Defense attorney Patrick Earle intended to call Nina Wheeler as a witness Thursday, but she became disruptive before the jury was brought into the courtroom. Sanders ordered her to be removed, and she did not testify.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 27.

January 27th – Shawna Greer, age 31 – Beloit

Shawna Greer will be remembered for her kind heart, free spirit and infectious laugh, her sister, Erica Miller, said as Greer’s family demands justice after Greer’s death.  Miller said Greer “loved life and enjoyed making the most of each day.”  The 31-year-old mother of three was shot and killed in what Beloit police say was a shooting prompted by a domestic violence incident Jan. 26 at a home in the 1400 block of Madison Road.  Greer’s ex-boyfriend, Anthony D. Richmond, 34, was arrested at the scene shortly after the shooting on possible homicide-related charges, but he was eventually released. The Rock County District Attorney’s Office cited conflicting reports given to law enforcement regarding the incident as the reason Richmond was released on a personal recognizance bond. He was ordered not to possess any weapons, to have no contact with Greer’s family and not to leave Wisconsin.

Miller said her family was outraged Richmond was released. That sense of frustration spilled over into the community with many people taking to social media to speak out against Richmond’s release.  “So many people are devastated by Shawna’s death,” Miller said.  She said she will cherish memories of talking to her sister about anything and everything, something she said they did the night before the shooting that took her life.  “Shawna lived for her kids,” Miller said. “She enjoyed spending time with her friends, too. She always lived in the moment with everyone. Shawna became a homebody and she loved being at home with the kids. She loved decorating her home, cooking for her family. She loved just being with her family and friends.”  Miller also made a call for people who are victims of domestic violence to seek help before it is too late.  “When they show you who they truly are, believe them,” Miller said. “Don’t let them talk you into staying. At one point in time, we have all existed without a partner. If a relationship is abusive, neither of you are happy, so just end the relationship, not a life.”

A GoFundMe has been set up for the family.

February 2nd – Allison Rogers, age 25 – La Crosse

The La Crosse Police Department says officers responded to 1026 Charles Street at 7:21 PM Wednesday for a possible deceased call.  Two people and a dog were found dead inside the residence, and the individuals have been identified as 25-year-old Allison Rogers and 26-year-old Jordan Garcia.  Preliminary evidence from police suggests the pair died as a result of a murder-suicide incident of domestic violence, with Garcia shooting the dog and Rogers before taking his own life.  The La Crosse Police Department says the investigation is active and ongoing.

February 3rd – Eleya Murray, age 29 – Kelly, WI

Northern Wisconsin authorities says a man died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after his wife was found dead.  The incident began around 7 p.m. Thursday when the The Bayfield County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a vehicle in the ditch on Highway 118 in the Town of Kelly, which is southwest of Ashland.  EMT’s found the female driver of the vehicle dead with what appeared to be a fatal gunshot wound. Authorities say the death is suspected to be a homicide and an autopsy was planned.  The woman’s husband was deemed to be a person of interest and the Bayfield and Ashland County sheriff’s offices began looking for him.

At about 1 a.m. Friday, the husband’s vehicle drove past an Ashland County sheriff’s deputy in the Town of Gingles. The deputy began to follow the vehicle and it accelerated to a high speed before the driver suddenly stopped in the middle of the road.  Other deputies responded to the scene to serve as backup. After the man didn’t reply to shouted commands, deputies approached the vehicle and found the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

February 5th – Arieuna Reed, age 23, Michael Edward Anderson, age 31, Brown Deer, WI

Arieuna’s Obituary

Michael’s Obituary

The suspect went on Facebook Live before turning the gun on himself. The disturbing video is still making the rounds on social media even though the suspect’s Facebook page has been taken down since the incident.  The medical examiner has identified the suspect in the shooting as 26-year-old Larvell Huddleston.  Authorities say the shooting started as a domestic dispute.Huddleston went on Facebook Live after fatally shooting the mother of his son. She’s been identified as 23-year-old Arieuna Reed.

Huddleston also shot two other people in the parking lot of his apartment complex.  The medical examiner identified one of them as 31-year-old Michael Edward Anderson.The other victim shot by Huddelston survived. His name is Eric Lewis.  He was shot in the leg while trying to help.  Police say Huddelston shot at officers on the scene, officers did not return fire.  The medical examiner says Huddelston eventually turned the gun on himself.  Authorities say the couple’s 2-year-old child was not injured.

February 10th – Jada Clay, age 10, Milwaukee, WI

The mother of 10-year-old Jada Clay has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide after the daughter was found dead in their home on Milwaukee’s north side last week.  The complaint alleges the mother, Henrietta Rogers, was the only person who had access to their home, in the 4700 block of North 44th Street, after the two had a tense morning and Jada refused to go to school.  Rogers is in custody and was scheduled to make her initial appearance in court Tuesday morning.

According to the criminal complaint:  Jada lived with her mother and 15-year-old sister in the upper unit of a duplex whose lower unit is vacant. The three were the only ones with keys to the residence, although Rogers usually hung on to Jada’s set so she wouldn’t lose them.  Jada’s sister told police Jada and Rogers began fighting Wednesday evening when Jada refused to let Rogers put braids in her hair. The fight continued the next morning, and the sister said she could hear Rogers pleading with Jada in the bathroom to allow her hair to be braided.  At one point, the sister heard a loud bang and rushed to the bathroom to see what happened. She saw Rogers on the floor holding a mirror that fell off the wall; Jada was lying on the floor and the sink was now loose from the wall. But the sister didn’t see any injuries on Jada’s body.  Rogers walked Jada to her room and told her to get ready for school. Rogers then left the residence to get gas and said she would be back to take them to class.  But Rogers didn’t return soon enough and Jada’s sister began to worry she would be late for school. She offered to walk with Jada, but she told her sister she was not going to school. She then closed her bedroom door and locked it.  The sister told police she left the home and locked the door to their upstairs unit and the front door to the building behind her.  Hours later, after school ended, the sister called Rogers for a ride but she didn’t answer. Her adult brother picked her up instead and the two ran several errands until they returned home shortly before 8 p.m.  There, they found the entrance to the duplex locked but the door to their unit ajar, with no signs of forced entry. After making their way inside, they used a screwdriver to unlock Jada’s bedroom door and found her lying face down on the ground, cold to the touch.  The preliminary cause of death was determined to be asphyxia, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. Investigators found bruising and hemorrhaging to her upper body and neck.  About an hour later, police received a call about a woman who was crying and asking for help in Schlitz Park, about  six miles south of the family’s home. Police found Rogers there and informed her that her daughter had just been found severely injured.  Rogers would not give police permission to search the rest of her home and never asked to see Jada or for more information about her condition. She was also found with drawings made by Jada and papers with notes saying, “I love you Jada” and “I’ve never done nothing to go to jail.”


February 10th – Sekou Traore, age 22, Milwaukee, WI

A Milwaukee woman is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the stabbing death of a 22-year-old man on the city’s south side. The accused is Curtisha Adams, age 22.  According to the criminal complaint, police were dispatched to a residence near 10th and Greenfield on the city’s south side early on Thursday, Feb. 10 for a report of a stabbing. Officers located the 22-year-old victim, who was taken to Froedtert Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.

Officers on the scene located two women — Adams and another woman. They both “reported that the victim ‘showed up’ at the residence and had been stabbed,” the complaint says. But officers noted inconsistencies in the statements — and asked for consent to search the residence. A short while later, detectives “located a silver knife with a black handle that appeared to have blood on and around the blade,” the complaint says. Both women were taken into custody for questioning.

The court documents say Adams had recently moved in with the second woman in December — and that Adams had been dating (the victim) — but they were recently broken up. After midnight, Adams, the second woman and the victim were back at the residence. An argument unfolded between Adams and the victim. The complaint says the victim at one point had Adams “in a headlock, punching her in the head and stomach.” Eventually the victim let Adams go — and she went to get a knife from the kitchen. The complaint says the “defendant walked over to (the victim) and swung the knife two times. (The victim) was trying to grab the knife, and was trying to grab the defendant and punch her.” At that point, the second woman said the victim “pulled a gun from his pocket and tried to rack it” and then “hit the defendant on the side of the head with the gun,” the complaint says. The woman also told police she saw the victim was stabbed — and told him to leave. Moments later, the complaint says he fell to the floor. The second woman called 911.  The complaint says Adams in a Mirandized statement told police she and the victim “got into a verbal argument that turned physical.” Adams claimed the victim “pulled out a firearm and hit her on the head prior to her getting a knife.” Adams also “said that she and (the victim) fought over the knife.”  Adams made her initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Monday, Feb. 14. Cash bond was set at $25,000. Adams is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 21.


February 12th – Amari Edwards, age 5 months, Cudahy, WI

An incident involving 5 month-old Amari Edwards was reported on February 10th.  She was removed from life support on February 12th.  Police said an autopsy revealed hemorrhaging of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. The baby’s cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma and it was ruled a homicide.  Her father, Damien Edwards-Jefferson, age 24, was the suspect.

February 13th Racine quintuple shooting victim shares story: ‘I was a target’

A woman injured in a shooting at Racine’s 509 Social Lounge was released from the hospital Thursday, Feb. 17.  Nakreisha McFarland was one of five people shot and wounded at the lounge just after bar close on Sunday.  It was a night of chaos and terror. Several people, McFarland among them, ran for their lives as shot rang out.  McFarland was shot three times – once in the arm and twice in the leg – and is in good spirits.  “I was like damn – excuse my French – I’ve been hit,” McFarland said. “The next thing you know I got hit right here. The second hit, so I’m still running I see nothing but blackness around me.”  Police said the gunman, identified as 50-year-old John Brown, then turned the gun fatally on himself. McFarland said Brown is the father of her two kids.

“I truly believe I was a target of it because I suffered the most hits, but everyone else was just in the way trying to run for their life, too,” said McFarland.  She wants to share her story to prevent what happened to her from happening to anyone else: “Don’t look past the red flags. Get out. Get out so you don’t end up in a situation like me.”  As McFarland reunites with family, she feels lucky to be alive.  “I know, although he shot me – but something in my body and my spirit calmed me and, and I’m not mad,” McFarland said. “I feel free, but I’m not mad.”  McFarland said she plans on spending time with her family and hopes she will recover soon, so she can get back into one of her favorite hobbies – roller skating.  As for the other victims of the shooting, none sustained life-threatening injuries.

February 23rd – Shad Thyrion, age 25, Green Bay, WI


Family identified the victim of a gruesome murder in Green Bay as 25-year-old Shad Thyrion.  The details are disturbing, reader discretion is advised below.  According to a criminal complaint, Thyrion’s mother found his head in a bucket in her basement on Feb. 23.  The complaint said she saw a light on in her basement in her Green Bay home.  She told detectives she knew Thyrion and a woman, identified in the complaint as Taylor Schabusiness, 24, were down there the night before.  The complaint said she didn’t see anyone downstairs, but on her way back up she noticed a “bucket next to the bottom of the stairs.”  The complaint said she discovered Thyrion’s head in the bucket.  The complaint said police went to Schabusiness’ home and found her with “a large amount of what (officers) believed to be blood” all over her clothes.  When they asked her what happened, the complaint said she replied “that is a good question.”  She said she blacked out during it.  Detectives found additional body parts, including the victim’s legs inside a Crockpot box in Schabusiness’ van.  She reportedly told detectives, “I can’t believe I left the head though,” according to the complaint.  Schabusiness said it happened during sex, and that the two smoked meth together.  She said it started with her choking the victim with a chain.  Schabusiness was held on a $2 million cash bond and charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse and third-degree sexual assault.  Thyrion’s family wanted “prayers and privacy” during this time, and that “Shad was loved by many and is missed.”They set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral costs, and new living arrangements for his mother.  To donate click here.

March 19th  – 96th and Brown Deer homicide: Milwaukee man charged, on the run

A 44-year-old Milwaukee man is on the run, charged in the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man near 96th and Brown Deer Road last mo. The accused is Roger Powell. Powell faces criminal counts of first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon.  According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police were dispatched to the area near 96th and Brown Deer Road on Thursday evening, March 17 for a shooting complaint. Officers arrived on the scene — and located a 24-year-old man deceased in the driver’s seat of a car. The victim was later identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office as Stefan Owens. Officials say Owens died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds.  Milwaukee police reviewed surveillance video from Risen Savior Church and School near the shooting scene. The complaint says the video shows a dark-colored car pulled up next to Owens’ car. Detectives stated in the video you can “hear yelling, as if the two cars are communicating.” Moments later, the complaint says “the defendant exits the passenger seat of the dark-colored car and walks around the rear of the car toward (Owens’) car.” It goes on to say Powell “walks up to the driver’s side window of (Owens’) car, raises his right hand, and fires five shots through (Owens’) driver’s side window.” The defendant then walks back to the car he exited, and the suspect car drove off.

Detectives then spoke with a woman on the scene after the homicide. The woman told officers Owens was the father of her child, that they had been in a relationship for several years, and broke up last September. The woman said Owens “has been threatening her, hitting her, and damaging her property,” the complaint says. The woman told police earlier that evening, she was in a car with her child when Owens pulled up next to her and told her to roll down the window. The woman did not do this and drove off. But the complaint says Owens kept following her, “so she called her brother, the defendant, Roger Powell. (The woman) said that she asked the defendant to escort her inside of her house because she was scared, but the defendant told her he wasn’t nearby.”  When the woman went back toward her house, she noticed Owens’ car parked at the intersection. The complaint says “she saw the car was stopped and couldn’t see (Owens), so she drove up to his car and saw him slumped over and bleeding.” She called 911 and “said that the defendant may have shot (Owens) but that she did not witness the shooting.”  While Powell was charged on April 7, online records indicate he is not in police custody. A warrant for his arrest has been issued.

March 19th – LeRoy Stefkes, Age 64, Union Center, WI

One man is dead and a second man in the Juneau County Jail following a March 19 house fire in the village.  Travis J. Yirka, 45, of Union Center, faces charges of first-degree reckless homicide and arson of a building. Judge Stacy Smith set a $500,000 cash bail for Yirka Friday.   At 7:34 a.m. March 19, the Union Center, Elroy, Hillsboro and Wonewoc fire departments responded to a house fire in Union Center, according to a Juneau County Sheriff’s Office news release. A person notified officials there possibly were two people inside the home at the time of the fire.   Officials found one person safe in Elroy. Firefighters found the body of LeRoy C. Stefkes, 64, of Union Center, inside the home, according to the release.   Yirka is scheduled to make his initial appearance on the charges April 13. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison.

March 25th – Unnamed Wife, Richmond, WI

The Wisconsin Department of Justice believes a man who exchanged gunfire with a Shawano County deputy last Friday died at his own hand.  The deputy responded to a woman calling 911 from a home on Oak Ave. in the Town of Richmond just before 4 in the afternoon. The deputy arrived in time to see a man shoot a woman outside a nearby storage building.  The state Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) says it confirmed the deputy fired their weapon but, based on “initial evidence” the man took his own life. The woman and the man both died at the scene.  The DCI is leading the investigation with assistance from the Wisconsin State Patrol.  The names of the people involved have not been released by any agency.  The deputy is on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shooting investigations.  “DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to the Shawano County District Attorney when the investigation concludes,” reads a statement from DCI.

March 28th – Michael King, Age 66, Milwaukee

A 61-year-old Milwaukee woman is accused of fatally shooting her own brother inside a residence near 30th and Roosevelt on Monday, March 28. The accused is Stephanie King – and she faces criminal counts of first-degree reckless homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon.  According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police officers responded to a shooting complaint near 30th and Roosevelt on Thursday evening, March 28. An officer knocked on the door of a residence and a woman identified as King answered the door. The complaint says she asked the officer, “Did you call the ambulance?” — and stated, “This man shot himself.”  The officer walked into the residence and saw the victim half on a chair and half on a footstool. The officer “observed a firearm approximately one inch away from the victim’s right hand, with the barrel pointed towards his abdomen,” the complaint says. The victim later died from his injuries. He has since been identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office as 66-year-old Michael King, Stephanie’s brother.  A detective interviewed King about what happened. She said “the victim was arguing with her and grabbed her jaw, that they fought over the gun and it went off. The defendant then stated that the victim wasn’t dead, he was faking, because the gun was loaded with blanks,” the complaint says.  Another person who lived with the victim told police King and the victim “were his brother and sister,” the complaint says. This person went on to say he “heard an argument between the defendant and victim who were in the living room. (The person) stated that a short time after the argument started he heard five gunshots in rapid succession. (The person) stated that he knew his brother owned a gun, so he stayed in his room until the police arrived,” the complaint says.  King was expected to make her initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Monday, April 4.

March 31st – Angela Lane, Age 29, Milwaukee

Police found a 29-year-old woman shot dead in her basement Thursday night near North 30th Street and Concordia Avenue.  The medical examiner and family identified the 29-year-old as Milwaukee resident Angela Lane.  Police said a suspect turned himself in and is in custody.  Family members said Lane’s boyfriend was the one in custody.  “This is so saddening it’s too much,” said Kiera Houston, Lane’s niece. “I’m just so broken that this could happen to her. She didn’t even have a life to live at 29 years old.”  Friday night, Lane’s family and friends gathered outside of the home for a vigil to remember the light Lane brought to their lives.  “She’s always the one that’s caring, loving and got something for anybody,” said her niece Queleyah Davis.  Davis said Lane was a victim of domestic violence.  “What I know is when she called out for help nobody helped her. What I know is my auntie died crying,” she said. “At the end of the day, our Black families out here are dying due to domestic violence, due to gun violence.”  The family lit purple candles, lights and release purple balloons, all to raise awareness of domestic violence.

April 1st – Oliver Hitchcock, Age 8, Sheboygan Falls

The Sheboygan Falls Fire Department posted on Facebook on Sunday, April 3 – encouraging all those who attend the Sheboygan Falls School District or have kids in the district to wear purple in memory of Oliver Hitchcock on Monday, April 4.  Hitchcock is the 8-year-old boy who died after being assaulted allegedly by his mother, investigators say. Sheboygan Falls police called it a strangulation. The boy was attacked on Wednesday and died Friday. His mother is now in jail.

Oliver was a second grade student at Sheboygan Falls Elementary School. Wednesday night, police said they were called to his home at the Plank Trail Apartments. His father called 911 and started what police called “life-saving measures” before the boy was taken to Children’s Wisconsin in critical condition.  Police said Oliver’s mother assaulted him before injuring herself. She was taken to the hospital but is now in jail. Police have referred a charge of first-degree intentional homicide for the boy’s death, and one count of attempted homicide related to another incident. There are no other suspects, police said.  Police said they will not release the mother’s name until she is officially charged, which is expected to happen early this week.  The Sheboygan Falls School District said there will be extra counselors on hand Monday, April 4 to help anyone who is working to process what took place.

April 12th – Dennis Schattie, 79, Altoona, WI

The two people charged in the death of an Altoona man are bound over for trial.  46-year-old Brandon Gaston of Rockford, Illinois appeared in-person in Eau Claire County court Tuesday afternoon, and 55-year-old Tracey Clark of Altoona appeared via zoom for their preliminary hearings.  Tuesday, the judge found probable cause crimes were committed and ordered Gaston and Clark to stand trial on the charges.  Gaston and Clark were charged with 1st-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse as a party to a crime on Sept. 15 after a lengthy investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Altoona Police Department, in the death of 79-year-old Dennis Schattie of Altoona. Shattie’s body was found in the Rock River in Rockford on April 12.

Tuesday’s preliminary hearing was originally scheduled for Sept. 27, but was rescheduled after the defendants weren’t able to find legal representation until just before the hearings. Attorneys for the defendants requested another rescheduling of the preliminary hearing last week, but the requests were denied by the court.  In April, Altoona Police Chief Kelly Bakken described the investigation as “complex” and that the case involved multiple jurisdictions. In July, the Altoona Police Department named both Clark and Gaston as suspects in the case. The July release indicated the homicide took place in the City of Altoona and that “numerous” evidence items had been collected. Police described the homicide as “financially-motivated.” According to court documents filed with the charges, investigators believe Clark and Gaston were in an apparent relationship going back at least as far as October of 2020. Clark told investigators that she had been living with Schattie since 2019 and had known him for about 22 years.  A $1 million cash bond was set for both suspects in earlier court appearances, with conditions that they not contact each other or members of Schattie’s family. Gaston is being held at the Eau Claire County Jail. Clark is being held at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac after her extended supervision was revoked in an unrelated case.

April 5th – Alicia Hoffman, 24, Kaukauna


Kaukauna police have identified the two people found dead at a home Tuesday.  The bodies of Alicia Hoffman, 24, and Anthony Vance, 19, were discovered after officers made a welfare check to a house in 300 block of West 10th Street due to family concerns about not being able to contact them.  Based on evidence and autopsy reports, police said Hoffman died of a gunshot wound and Vance died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Police said Hoffman and Vance lived at the address and were in a relationship.  The department said its investigation is ongoing.

April 22nd -Sheriff releases identity of 2 people found dead in Monroe County last week, Ridgeville

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is providing the names of two people found dead on April 22 in the Town of Ridgeville.  According to a release, Wayne and Konnie Bach were found dead shortly after 6 a.m. on April 22 at a home on Lexicon Avenue.  The Sheriff’s Office said the caller reporting the information “indicated that they had caused the death of that person and planned to do the same to themselves.” The Sheriff’s Office and the Monroe County Combined Tactical Unit responded.  The Sheriff’s Office says the investigation is ongoing and they don’t believe there to be any danger to the public

April 23rd – Leah Davis, Age 19, Milwaukee


Family and friends gathered outside of an apartment near North 66th Street and West Lisbon Avenue Sunday afternoon for a vigil and balloon release.  It was for 19-year-old Leah Davis.  “She really just didn’t get to live her life,” Davis’ family member Lakeshia Hudson told WISN 12. “She was the sweetest person ever. She didn’t bother anyone. She left home trying to be independent and she was just a sweet girl.”  Family said Davis’ boyfriend shot and killed Davis at her apartment Saturday night.  “She was a workaholic, glad to get her first place and everything. I really don’t understand why this guy took her life,” Davis’ family member Lisa Briggs said.  At the vigil, her family and friends spoke out about domestic violence.  “All this back and forth, trying to kill somebody because they don’t want to be with you it’s not worth it,” her cousin Justice Smith said.  Family and friends brought flowers, candles, signs and balloons Sunday to honor the life Dais leaves behind, and call for an end to the violence.  Milwaukee police have a suspect in custody.

April 24th – Brittany Booker, Age 30, Racine


Racine police released more photos Friday of the man wanted in the fatal shooting of a mother of six, urging anyone with information on his location to call authorities.  “We want the public to see all sides of Terry Jackson and do not want him to be hiding in plain sight,” Sgt. Kristi Wilcox said in an email.  Jackson, 42, is accused of killing Brittany Booker, 30, last weekend, Racine police said.  Booker’s oldest son called police about 9:30 a.m. Sunday to report his mother was missing and not answering her phone, according to court records. He had checked the doorbell cameras and saw his mother leaving the house about 5:30 a.m. with an unknown man.  Officers found Booker’s body later that day inside her car. She had suffered multiple injuries, including a gunshot wound to her head, police said.  Racine police quickly identified Jackson as a suspect. He already had pending charges, including attempted homicide, for a February attack on Booker and a friend of hers, court records show. The friend had previously been in a relationship with Jackson.  The attack on Feb. 27 occurred inside George’s Tavern on Main Street. Police found Booker and her friend covered in blood after Jackson had beaten them with a hammer, according to a criminal complaint.  Jackson was charged March 15 in the tavern attack and an earlier incident involving Booker’s friend. A warrant was issued for his arrest. Racine police and the U.S. Marshal have been searching for Jackson since then, but did not ask the public for help until after Booker was killed.  “My daughter was scared every day,” Leonard Larry, Booker’s father said.   Racine police said Jackson has ties to the Chicago area. Earlier this week, police arrested three women accused of helping Jackson evade authorities after the hammer attack. Jackson is believed to have used one of the women’s vehicles, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, to drive to Booker’s house the morning of the homicide, according to police.  Booker has been remembered as a loving mother of six. Her children range in age from 2 to 13 years old. Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Jackson.  “The more his pictures get shared, the quicker the Racine Police Department can bring Brittany Booker and her family some justice,” Wilcox said.  Anyone with information is asked to call Racine police investigator and U.S. Marshal Task Force Officer Mike Seeger at (262) 939-2437 or Lt. Hanns Freidel at (262) 635-7761.  Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (262) 636-9330 or use the P3 app. 

April 24th – Unnamed Girl, Age 20 months, Madison

A toddler who died after she was injured at a Southwest Side apartment two weeks ago was beaten, thrown and sexually assaulted, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday that charged the boyfriend of the girl’s mother with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree sexual assault of a child.   The 26-page complaint charged Marshawn D. Giles, 23, with 18 criminal counts spanning events that are alleged to have happened on six separate dates in April, culminating in his arrest on April 25 after the abuse at a Schroeder Road apartment that led to the death of the 20-month-old girl.  According to the complaint, the girl, who was not identified by name in the complaint, died from blunt force injuries to her head, leaving her with multiple skull fractures. Dr. Agnieszka Rogalska said she found more than 10 impacts to the girl’s head. Rogalska also noted blunt force injuries elsewhere that were consistent with sexual assault.  The girl’s mother told police that Giles had talked two days earlier about “the demons getting to him,” and he thought the girl “had the demon in him a couple times.”

On April 25, the complaint states, police responded to a call in the 5600 block of Schroeder Road, where a woman met officers screaming “he killed my baby.” She had facial injuries and said Giles had beaten her. She said Giles chased her as she ran from the apartment to try to get help, but then he went back inside.  Police went inside and arrested Giles. Officers found the girl badly beaten and with a weak pulse. She was taken to UW Hospital, where she died.  The woman said Giles had battered her on several occasions starting on April 13. They had begun dating in January. Other incidents of abuse are alleged to have occurred on April 14, 18, 22 and 23.  Bail for Giles was set at $1 million during a court appearance Monday  “It’s hard to imagine more serious, grievous facts than what’s alleged here,” Court Commissioner Brian Asmus said. “Here we’re alleging the sex assault and murder of a young child. I can’t imagine anything more serious. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything more serious in my 23-year career.”  In addition to first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree sexual assault of a child, the complaint charged Giles with one count each of child abuse, criminal damage to property, second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree sexual assault and substantial battery; two counts of felon in possession of a firearm; four counts of disorderly conduct; and five counts of misdemeanor battery.

The woman told police Giles was good to her at first when they started dating, but he became increasingly controlling and abusive “over me and my children.” She had three children. Giles started staying with her at the Schroeder Road apartment in February and by early March was living there full time.  After Giles became much more controlling, she said, she went through his phone and found he had been talking to another woman. Giles became upset when she confronted him about it, and when she told him she wanted to break up, he began hitting her and threatening to kill her.  The woman said that after the April 13 incident, he apologized. The next day, she said, he strangled her in front of his daughter and his cousin, again a reaction to events concerning the other woman. The woman said she went to a hospital to be treated for throat pain.  On April 18, she told police, Giles attacked her again, abused one of her children and pointed a gun at her. He held the gun in front of the children, she said. As he pointed it at her, she said he told her, “Do you want me to kill you?” and “I’ll kill you now.”  That incident was sparked, she said, by Giles not wanting her children to go to school. The whole day, she said, Giles was “terrorizing us, me and my kids.”  Another dispute over her children going to school led to other incidents on April 22 and 23, the woman told police. She said he “flipped out” and smashed her work computer and hit her, then gave her a gun and told her she “needs to go kill” herself. After she locked herself in a bathroom, he broke in and beat her, she said.  Later, she said, at Giles’ mother’s home, Giles woke up his mother and his cousin and said he was going to kill himself because nobody was listening to him, and pushed his mother over. Eventually, the woman called 911 so she could be transported to a hospital for her own injuries but did not call the police because she was afraid of what Giles might do if she did.  On April 25, the woman told police, Giles beat her and sexually assaulted her. She said they had been to Milwaukee earlier, and on the drive home, he held a gun to her and threatened to kill her. He started “tweaking” after they arrived home, she said.  Giles also slapped and punched the girl, she said, then picked up the girl and threw her twice in the bathroom. Seeing her daughter seriously hurt, the woman said, she ran from the apartment to get help.  When police went into the apartment, Giles initially ignored commands, then started to get onto the floor before getting up and struggling with officers. Later, at St. Mary’s Hospital, a paramedic gave Giles a shot to calm him so he could be removed from a squad car.

April 25th – Melissa Lemerond Gray, Age 31, Green Bay


We are learning more about the case of two bodies found in a Green Bay home Monday morning. An estranged couple was found dead in a home on Third Street on the city’s west side. Neighbors said they saw two children being escorted from the home.  Police have not said how the couple died, but now we’ve learned their names after talking to family members.  Melissa Lemerond Gray and her husband, Walter Gray, were found dead in the home, according to Melissa’s sister. The two children who were seen being taken out of the home were the couple’s children — two boys, ages six and two.  According to Rachelle Lemerond, Melissa’s sister, the couple was married but in the process of divorce.  “She was a great person and she literally did anything for her kids… and it’s not fair,” Rachelle said. “I feel like my sister is the best person in the world… the most perfect person.”  She said Monday’s incident was a murder-suicide and a case of domestic violence.  “If you look at his pictures, he looks like the perfect husband. If you look at them together, they look like the perfect family.”  Court documents show Melissa was granted a temporary restraining order against Walter but a permanent order was denied last month. In the documents, Missy said their relationship was “both verbally, emotionally and sexually abusive” since she can remember.  In the documents, she continued to say Walter “is extremely manipulative to the point he uses threats of committing suicide” to get her attention. She claimed he isolated her, made sexual threats against her and harassed her.  Screenshots filed in court from Melissa show several texts, voice messages, unanswered video chats and missed phone calls from Walter.  “The end result is, he’s selfish enough to be like ‘If I can’t have you, then no one can’,” Rachelle said.   She believes mental health played a role in the situation. Melissa told Rachelle Walter was diagnosed with a disorder.  Rachelle hopes people who need help will reach out for it because now there are two children without parents.  ”If there’s people like my sister who are asking for help, someone please let the system help them and not fail them like they did my sister,” Rachelle said.  The family started a GoFundMe page to help Melissa’s sons.

April 26th – Emily Rodgers, Age 23, Milwaukee
Emily Rogers, 23, of Milwaukee was reported missing April 30, she was found dead near a retention pond in St. Francis nine days later.

Emily Rogers knew it was not going to be easy to break up with her boyfriend, Nicholas Matzen, on April 27.  Matzen, who is also the father of Rogers’ child, had spent the previous 10 days in jail in connection with an unrelated misdemeanor hit-and-run case. Rogers knew he was about to be released, so she texted several friends about her plans.  “I can tell it’s gonna be a (expletive) day,” she wrote that morning.  Almost two hours later, after telling her friends Matzen showed up at her home on the 2500 block of West Becher Street, she informed them she ended the relationship.  When one of them asked if she was ok, Rogers replied ominously  “Not exactly,” Rogers wrote.  Her friend asked what happened.  “I’ll call you in a minute,” Rogers answered. “If I can.”

That phone call apparently never happened, leaving her friends worrying for days about what she meant. After Rogers was reported missing April 30, she was found dead near a retention pond in St. Francis nine days later.  Those details were included in a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, which laid out charges of first-degree reckless homicide and hiding a corpse against Matzen, 35 of Milwaukee.  Although Matzen denied responsibility in interviews with police, a pair of brothers who are friends with him told investigators he “lost it” and strangled Rogers after being told the relationship was over.  Matzen made his first court appearance Wednesday. He is being held at the Milwaukee County Jail with bail set at $500,000.  The criminal complaint filed against Matzen implicates at least one other person in the hiding of Rogers’ body, but no other charges were filed in the case as of Wednesday afternoon.

According to the criminal complaint:  After reporting Rogers missing, a friend of hers told police on April 30 she knew of Rogers’ plans to break up with Matzen when she dropped her off at her home on April 26, the day before she planned to break the news.   The friend then went two days without hearing from Rogers. She told police to speak with Rogers’ neighbor, who said they saw Matzen on April 28 with scratches on his face.  Matzen told the neighbor the scratches came from his dog, named “Hennessy,” but the friend thought that was suspicious because her own dog is named Hennessy, and Rogers and Matzen do not have their own.  Police eventually made contact with a pair of brothers who are friends of Matzen. One of them said Matzen admitted to breaking Rogers’ neck inside her home.  The other brother told police Matzen admitted to strangling Rogers after learning she was leaving him. He then helped Matzen move Rogers’ body from her home to the 1300 block of East Waterford Street in St. Francis.  He said they wrapped the body in a rug, tied it with an extension cord and put it in the back of his mother’s Toyota. After driving to the location, Matzen then rolled the body down a slope near a pond.  She was found concealed underneath a discarded Christmas tree. An autopsy by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said she died from asphyxiation.  In an interview with police Matzen verified Rogers broke up with him the day of his release from custody. But he said he stepped out of the home for 20 to 30 minutes to get some air and returned to find that she had left. He had a visible scratch on his face during the interview, which he said came from a dog.  Detectives then falsely told Matzen that a nearby surveillance camera captured him carrying a body out of the back door of his house.  He then claimed he was carrying a 400-pound sex doll and would not tell detectives where it was.  Matzen has had at least one prior incident with Rogers, and he has also had prior run-ins with police.  Matzen pleaded guilty to two felonies after a 2010 incident in which he shot a man nonfatally during a fight between two groups of people in Cudahy, according to court records.  After that incident, he told police he always carries a gun with him because he is a member of the Latin Kings gang. During his sentencing hearing, a Milwaukee County judge ordered him to cease contact with the group as a condition of his extended supervision.  In 2020, Matzen was accused of burning Rogers’ property, but the bumpy prosecution that followed ultimately fell apart when Rogers indicated she did not want to appear at the trial, according to Milwaukee County Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern.  Matzen wasn’t charged in the unrelated hit-and-run case from April 2022 until after he had been arrested in connection with Rogers death. Lovern said that was because more investigative work was required before charges could be filed.

According to court records:  In May 2020, Rogers received a phone call from Matzen’s mother, who was concerned her son was passed out and not waking up. Rogers visited his home in Cudahy, woke him up and learned he recently took Xanax.  Rogers, who later told police Matzen was her former live-in boyfriend, said he began accusing her of cheating on him. He tried choking her, but Rogers easily fended him off because he was still impaired.  Rogers then left the home. But sometime later, she received photos from Matzen through text messages showing him burning her belongings – a laptop, a bicycle and a baby bassinet.  Matzen was arrested and charged with felony arson and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. But at a time when shutdowns were just beginning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the court case was slow-going at first.  Matzen did not make his first court appearance until February 2021, about nine months after his arrest. He was held in a Milwaukee prison, rather than the county jail, for that entire period because at the time of the arson incident, he was on extended supervision from a prior felony conviction. His arson arrest violated the terms of that release.  Lovern did not know the reason why it took nine months for the first court appearance to be held other than speculating that COVID-19 delays may have been a factor.  Nevertheless, Matzen attempted to get the case moving faster. He alerted prison officials of the situation, and those officials then sent what’s called a “request for prompt disposition” to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.  Once that request is sent, state law mandates the local district attorney must bring the case to trial within 120 days. Prison officials sent the request in April 2021.  The following August, Matzen’s lawyer asked the district attorney’s office if it received the request. The office initially said no, but found the request two days later.  Claire Zyber, an assistant district attorney, said the request was misplaced as a result of a clerical error and prosecutors assigned to the case were never notified about it. Zyber framed it as a human error “in the era of COVID-19 and work from home.”  By mid-August, the 120-day limit was reached and no trial was brought. Richardson filed a motion to dismiss the case, but it carried on with a trial scheduled for late September.  Before that trial could begin, though, the victim said she did not want to be involved, Lovern said, and the case fell apart.  Additionally, online court records indicate the prosecution failed to arrange the transport of Matzan from the prison to the courtroom on the day of the trial. Lovern contradicted that, saying the transport was arranged but ultimately not needed after the victim didn’t appear for the trial.  On the date of the trial, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Michelle A. Havas granted the defense’s request to dismiss the charges with prejudice, meaning prosecutors could not retry the case.  In November 2021, Matzen was back on extended supervision and released from prison.  He was arrested again April 17, 2022, in connection with a hit-and-run incident three days earlier outside Rogers’ home, which resulted only in property damage. He was released 10 days later with charges still pending.

Where to find help for sexual assault and domestic violence in Milwaukee

The City of Milwaukee Health Department has resources for sexual assault survivors.

The Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee operates a 24-hour confidential hotline at (414) 933-2722 and offers assistance with e-filing for restraining orders at (414) 278-5079. The center also offers a 24-hour confidential texting line at (414) 877-8100.

The Milwaukee Women’s Center also offers a hotline at (414) 671-6140.

The Asha Project, which serves African American women in Milwaukee, provides a crisis line from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (414) 252-0075.

Diverse & Resilient, which serves the LGBTQ community, operates the “Room to Be Safe” resource line (414) 856-5428 and has online resources at roomtobesafe.org.

The Hmong American Women’s Association, which serves the Hmong and southeast Asian community, has advocates available at (414) 930-9352 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The WI Hmong Family Strengthening Helpline is available after hours at (877) 740-4292.

The UMOS Latina Resource Center in Milwaukee offers bilingual, bicultural, domestic violence, sexual assault and anti-human trafficking supportive services and operates a 24-hour hotline at (414) 389-6510.

May 4th – Jamie Le Ward, Age 50, Greenfield

A 48-year-old Greenfield man is accused of fatally stabbing his wife in their residence earlier this month. The accused is Braeden Ward – and he faces a single charge of first-degree intentional homicide.According to the criminal complaint, Greenfield dispatch received a call on May 18 from a person who expressed concern about the victim, Jamie Ward. The person stated the defendant, Braeden Ward, “had called her and stated that he had cut his wife’s, victim Jamie Ward’s, throat approximately ten days ago,” the complaint says — and that her body was still at a residence on Maple Leaf Circle.

Officers were dispatched to the residence — and attempted to make contact with a landline associated with the residence. However, nobody picked up. They also knocked on doors without any response. Police then attempted to reach out to Braeden Ward by phone. The complaint says he “stated that he was not home and was driving around, but was willing to talk to officers over the phone.” Officers told Ward that family members were worried about both Braeden Ward and Jamie Ward, but the defendant was not willing to meet in person. He told officers “he had helped the victim end her life.” Ward told officers “the victim had suffered from chronic pain for twenty years and that he could not help her,” the complaint says. Ward told officers when Jamie went into the shower, he then “stabbed her in the neck and she died approximately four minutes later,” the complaint says. The defendant stated that he killed the victim on May 4.  Ward was arrested after he indicated he was in his vehicle near a motel in Franklin. He stated “he was armed with a handgun,” the complaint says. But Ward was taken into custody without incident.  In an interview with investigators, Ward stated his wife had suffered chronic pain for years. He said “on May 3, 2022, the victim again asked the defendant to end her life,” the complaint says. Ward told authorities he “agreed to assist the victim in ending her life.”  Ward made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Saturday, May 21. Cash bond was set at $1 million. Ward is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, May 31.

May 11th – Arthur Williams, Age 32, Milwaukee

A Milwaukee man is charged with first-degree reckless homicide after a fatal shooting on the city’s south side Wednesday, May 11.  Prosecutors say Rhian McCradic, 24, shot and killed a man  His brother-in-law) during a dispute over $20.  The shooting happened near 5th and Hayes. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, and the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office later identified him as 32-year-old Arthur Williams.  According to a criminal complaint, Williams had “numerous” gunshot wounds. Police found 10 bullet casings at the scene around his body.  A witness told police that she heard McCradic tell Williams that Williams “owed him $20.” McCradic then went downstairs before coming back and shooting Williams, the complaint states.

During the investigation, the complaint states, police learned that McCradic and Williams knew one another. A witness identified McCradic as the shooter. He turned himself in to law enforcement on May 15.  In an interview with police, McCradic said he intervened in an argument between his wife and Williams because he “was not going to let” that happened. McCradic told police, according to the complaint, that Williams was taunting him and the two of them began arguing – resulting in the shooting. McCradic said he shot Williams one time but “kind of blacked out” and the next thing he knew he had fired all 10 rounds.  McCradic made an initial court appearance on May 18, and a judge set cash bond at $100,000. He is due back in court on May 26.

May 13th – Couple Found dead of gunshot wounds, New Richmond WI

On May 13, 2022 at approximately 1:00 p.m. the New Richmond Police Department was summoned to 1279 Pinewood Trail #9 for an odor emitting from within a residence. Upon arrival, officers made entry to the residence and found two deceased subjects: one adult male identified as 42 year old Brandon McNamara, and one adult female identified as 36 year old Kelley Marks. Both subjects had apparent gunshot wounds and had been deceased for an unknown period of time.  Due to the suspicious nature of the deaths, the Wisconsin State Crime Lab was called in to assist investigators with scene evaluation and processing. The bodies were transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office for further investigation, cause of death, and identity confirmation.
This investigation is ongoing, but it appears the two subjects in the residence were in a relationship and evidence at the scene supports this was consistent with a murder-suicide. While the New Richmond Police Department does not believe there is any current threat to the public and the firearm believed to have been used was recovered at the scene, we continue to actively investigate this case. We also ask that if anyone in the area has knowledge of either subject please contact the New Richmond Police Department at 715-246-6667.  The New Richmond Police Department would also like to thank the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, St. Croix County Medical Examiner’s Office, Ramsey County Medical Examiner Office and the State Crime Lab for all of the assistance in this case.
May 14th -Man identified in fatal domestic abuse incident, Chippewa Falls WI

The man killed in a domestic abuse incident Saturday in Chippewa Falls has been identified as 29-year-old Stephan D. Lee.   The call came in just before 6 a.m. that a man was chasing a woman on West Willow Street and had collapsed. The Chippewa Falls man died shortly after police responded.  On Saturday, officials said a preliminary investigation indicated there was a violent altercation prior to the critical injury in which the woman sustained facial injuries. She told police that she feared for her life, grabbed a knife and tried to escape the home. Officials said evidence at the scene indicated the final altercation happened near the door to the house.  Police said the pair has a history of domestic violence.   Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm said no physical arrest has been made at this time. He said the investigation continues and the case will be referred to the District Attorney’s office for review. The DA’s office would decide whether to pursue criminal charges.

May 24th – Dora Gonzalez Zarate, Age 39, Town of York, WI

A 71-year-old was arrested in Delaware on Monday for the murder of a woman in the town of York earlier this year, authorities said.  Jose Luis Gonzalez Sr., of Waterloo, is charged with first-degree homicide in the death of Dora Gonzalez-Zarate, 39, a farm laborer who was found in her home with a fatal gunshot wound to the head on May 24, according to court records. Gonzalez went to Delaware days after the killing even as authorities had recovered guns from his home and were investigating his possible links to the 39-year-old’s death.  A criminal complaint was filed against Gonzalez for Gonzalez-Zarate’s murder under seal on Friday and unsealed Tuesday.  Detectives started investigating Gonzalez the day the victim’s body was found by her brother-in-law.

Witnesses who worked with Gonzalez-Zarate allegedly saw Gonzalez’s vehicle in front of the trailer where she lived hours before her body was found. The two had a romantic relationship.  Other witnesses told investigators that Gonzalez was furious with Gonzalez-Zarate for cheating on him, and that on one occasion, Gonzalez was playing with a gun at her residence around her children. Gonzalez-Zarate’s son also told investigators that Gonzalez went around with a holstered pistol on his waist and “seemed dangerous.”

That night, authorities surveilled Gonzalez’s residence in Waterloo and later pulled him over on Highway 26 in Jefferson County. During the traffic stop, Gonzalez, who was with his wife and grandchildren, denied being at Gonzalez-Zarate’s residence. Cellphone records later pulled by investigators found that Gonzalez’s phone was at Gonzalez-Zarate’s residence between 10:40 and 11 a.m. that day, about 2½ hours before her body was found. Text messages between the pair days before the killing showed that Gonzalez-Zarate told Gonzalez that she was afraid of him. The 39-year-old texted him, “I hope that I don’t get killed.”

Gonzalez-Zarate said that someone had followed her the previous night and that she feared for her life because she “had to do something” for her children.  On May 25, authorities searched Gonzalez’s home, where they recovered eight firearms, six of which have been sent to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab for testing.  Days after the homicide and despite the ongoing interest of law enforcement in his possible ties to the crime, Gonzalez left Wisconsin to travel with family to Delaware.  After eventually finding probable cause to arrest Gonzalez, Dane County authorities traveled to Delaware to apprehend him on Monday. The 71-year-old has declined to challenge his extradition back to Wisconsin and is in the process of being returned to Dane County, according to the Sheriff’s Office.  He was being held at the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown, Delaware.  Authorities ask anyone who knew Gonzalez-Zarate or had contact with her in the weeks before her death to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 608-284-6900.

May 25th – Montreach Mitchell, Age 30, Kenosha, WI

29-year-old Kenosha man now faces multiple charges associated with the homicide of 30-year-old Montreach Mitchell at a hote on Wednesday, May 25. The accused is Timmy Brooks – and he faces the following criminal counts: First-degree intentional homicide, Possession of a firearm by a felon, Bail jumping, felony (three counts), Bail jumping, misdemeanor (two counts).  Seconds after Brooks walked into Kenosha County court for his initial appearance on Friday, emotions erupted from some in the packed gallery – filled with the family of Montreach Mitchell.  Brooks was removed – and deputies settled things down after pleas from Mitchell’s father.   “I’m at a loss for words. My family’s upset. I’m upset. We can’t even grieve with a lot of the nonsense that’s going on,” said Monroe Mitchell, Montreach’s father. “She just turned 30 April 12. For her to lose her life at such a young age, over something this crazy.”

According to the criminal complaint, Kenosha officers were dispatched to the Wyndham Garden Hotel midday on Wednesday, May 25 for a medical call. Housekeeping staff had located the victim laying unconscious on the floor of the hotel room. Dispatched was advised the defendant was the person who rented the room.  Officers entered the room, observed the victim, identified as Montreach Mitchell. Emergency responders arrived and attempted lifesaving measures, but Mitchell was eventually pronounced deceased.  Investigators located four .22 caliber shells in the room. They were found in various locations in the room — one next to Mitchell. They also used surveillance video at the hotel to note the time Brooks arrived at the hotel with Mitchell — and when he left the hotel room alone. Detectives also spoke with people who were staying in a hotel room near the Brooks room. They stated “they had been woke up by the sounds of what they believed to be gunshots.”  The complaint indicates Brooks turned himself into the Milwaukee Police Department on May 25. In an interview with investigators he stated in the early morning hours of that day, Mitchell started arguing with him. The complaint says Brooks “became upset and grew tired of her arguing with him, so he picked up a gun, and shot her.” Brooks “admitted that he fled the hotel and took her car.”  “This was a calculated, callous and frankly it was an intentional act as well,” said Dan Tombasco, Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney.  “He doesn’t deserve the chance of bond, and doesn’t deserve to see the light of day,” said Sharmain Harris, Montreach Mitchell’s brother.  The court commissioner handling Brooks’ case set cash bond at $1 million on Friday. Brooks was out on bond in three felony cases at the time. He also has a prior felony conviction. Brooks is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on June 3.  Mitchell’s family said Montreach was staying at the hotel after her home caught fire. A Go Fund Me set up by her family because of the house fire is now being used to help Montreach’s family.


May 28th – James Arthur Carter, Age 36, Milwaukee, WI

Police are investigating a domestic violence-related homicide near 42nd and Bonny around 2:40 a.m. Saturday, May 28.  A 36-year-old Milwaukee man was pronounced dead at the scene.A 22-year-old Milwaukee man and a 33-year-old Milwaukee female were taken into custody in connection with this incident. Two firearms were recovered.   Charges are pending review by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.

June 2nd – Unnamed Baby, Age 4 weeks, Lake Delton, WI

A man charged with neglecting his child to the point of the infant’s death during a stay at a timeshare in Lake Delton over the summer was recently released on bond.  Jonteze L. Harris, 22, of Trevor, faces a felony count of neglecting a child with the consequence of death, which carries a maximum imprisonment of 15 years followed by up to 10 years of extended supervision, in Sauk County Circuit Court.  He was released from Sauk County Jail on a $10,000 signature bond Dec. 29.  Harris made an initial appearance the day before in front of Circuit Court Judge Wendy Klicko. Prosecutor Margaret Delain requested a $10,000 cash bond for Harris, who still has not yet applied for a public defender. Attorney Leonie Dolch appeared on his behalf and responded to the bond request.  Klicko set a $10,000 signature bond with no special conditions.

According to the criminal complaint:  Harris was staying at a timeshare townhouse at the Tamarack Resort in late May and early June along with two other adults and children, which included his 1-month-old.  The infant was kept in a changing mat which police noted had slightly raised edges which were likely to keep the infant from shifting off of it. The mat was kept next to the bed where Harris and another adult slept.  A Lake Delton police detective was called to the townhouse around 10:15 a.m. June 2. Ambulance workers were already in the home, administering lifesaving measures on the infant. Once it was determined the baby was deceased, the detective noted the infant had signs of rigor mortis, which indicated the death had occurred hours earlier. There were also small scratches along the neck area and a mark above the infant’s right eye.  One of the adults interviewed by the detective said something about the child not being “hurt anymore” or that “no one can hurt” the child “anymore,” the detective noted in the report.  Dr. Jamie Kallan at UW Hospital completed the autopsy. Dr. Kallan found the infant died due to a skull fracture and retinal hemorrhage on the right side. The evaluation also revealed “multiple impact sites on the scalp along with the old…resolving brain injuries” which shows that the infant had experienced head trauma before death that was deemed to be “non-accidental.”  The autopsy also found that the child had been alive when Harris said he fed the infant around 1 a.m. “It is unlikely” the child could have self-injured given the age of the infant, Kallan noted.  Harris met with police and denied, multiple times, ever dropping or striking the child. He said he feeds the baby while sitting on the ground in an effort to avoid disturbing the baby upon return to the mat. Harris had a schedule of feeding the child every three hours, though he did not get up after the 1 a.m. feeding. The baby was discovered after 9 a.m. to be nonresponsive, not breathing and cold to the touch.  Harris is scheduled to return to court Feb. 10.

June 6th – Shannon Swanson, Age 35, Appleton, WI

Officials have released the names of two people found dead in a murder-suicide in Appleton Monday.  Police identified them as Shannon Swanson, 35, and Mitchell Kounelis, 32.  Police say Swanson and Kounelis were found dead in the home they shared in the 600 block of W. Third Street.  “The investigation found Kounelis shot Swanson, and then Kounelis died by suicide with the same firearm,” police say.  The property is just blocks from a domestic abuse shelter.  “Certainly our community is not well right now,” said Amber Schroeder, Executive Director of Harbor House.  Schroeder says the number of people seeking help has dramatically risen since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  So from 2020 to 2021 we had about a 20-30 percent increase. I’d say we’re still on that same trendline right now, and that’s just people who are getting to us,” she said.  That demand for help has led Harbor House to add three new advocate positions as cases of domestic violence increase.  Schroeder added, “I don’t think this is going to change anytime soon. I think this is the lay of the land and I think we have a lot of work to do as a community to really think about what are the root causes of domestic violence and how do we prevent it.”

June 10th – Trevon Davis-Williams, Age 23, Madison, WI

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the man who died after police found him with a chest wound on Madison’s far east side last weekend.  Authorities first responded to the 5600 block of Black Onyx Drive around 5:20 a.m. Sunday after getting a report of a disturbance. When they arrived, officers found the man with a chest wound. He later died at a local hospital.  The medical examiner has since identified him as 23-year-old Trevon Davis-Williams of Dodgeville. According to a preliminary autopsy report, he died of a stab wound. Officials said additional testing is still underway.  In an update shared days after the incident, Madison police said Davis-Williams and the woman taken into custody as a person of interest in his death had a child together.


June 12th – Sara Latimer, Age 32, Sparta, WI

32-year-old Shawn Hock of Sparta was charged with 1st-degree intentional homicide, two counts each of aggravated battery and disorderly conduct, one count of possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of manufacturing or delivering meth in Monroe County Circuit Court on Friday, with the homicide, aggravated battery and disorderly conduct charges all filed as domestic abuse and all seven charges were filed as repeater, according to online court records.

On May 10, the Sparta Police Department posted on Facebook that they were investigating a death of a woman that was found dead in the city, and that there was no danger to the public. The Police Department later identified the woman as 32-year-old Sara Latimer of Sparta. According to the criminal complaint, a preliminary autopsy report showed that Latimer died of blunt force trauma due to multiple head and facial injuries, which were visible as large bruises and swelling. Latimer also had injuries on her arms and legs that the preliminary autopsy report indicated were consistent with defensive wounds.  In documents filed with the charges in court, investigators said that Hock had a history of violence against Latimer, including domestic abuse convictions for cases that were filed in 2020 and 2021 that Hock was sentenced in April to three years of probation for. Investigators determined Latimer was the victim in those cases, as well as other charges that were dismissed but read in, based on materials on file from those cases. Evidence from the prior cases showed that the injuries Latimer suffered before her death on May 10 are similar to the injuries in the prior cases.  According to court documents, Latimer contacted her mother on May 9, the night before she was found dead by Sparta Police, and sent her pictures of injuries to her face and legs, asking her to pick her up the next day. Investigators said Latimer left the house after sending the messages to go to a laundromat, and video surveillance at the laundromat confirmed that she had gone there from about 1 to 3 a.m. None of the serious injuries that the preliminary autopsy report showed were present on the video, which investigators described as “rather high quality.”  According to the criminal complaint Hock told investigators that he and Latimer had been “bickering” throughout the night after they had taken meth earlier in the day, and he had fallen asleep around 9 or 10 p.m. Hock was woken up at 3 a.m. by an acquaintance saying they had seen Latimer at the laundromat and told Hock that she was talking about leaving him. Hock told investigators he noticed $20 was missing from his wallet and went to pick up Latimer. Hock said he and Latimer came back to their residence and argued about the missing money before going into a bedroom.  Hock said that he did not know how Latimer sustained the injuries, according to the criminal complaint, and denied that he had anything to do with Latimer’s death. Police found Latimer dead on a mattress in a bedroom at the house at 10:17 a.m. on May 10.  On Friday, the Sparta Police Department posted that an arrest had been made and charges had been filed against Hock.  Hock will appear in court on June 13 for his initial appearance. He is being held at the Monroe County Jail.

June 19th – Rick Schermerhorn, Age 48, Coon Valley, WI


A Vernon County woman apparently shot her husband several times before killing herself last weekend.  The sheriff’s office says 47-year-old Tina Schermerhorn was found dead with a self-inflicted wound, when deputies were called to her Coon Valley area home on County Road P Sunday night. They later found the body of Tina’s husband, 48-year-old Rick Schermerhorn.  The deaths are still being investigated.

Online records indicate the couple had been going through divorce proceedings in Vernon County court since late last year.  Rick Schermerhorn died from multiple gunshot wounds, and Tina had one self-inflicted wound.

June 25th – Unnamed Woman, Age 59:  Wescott, WI

A Shawano man has been jailed in lieu of $1 million bail on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in the June strangulation of a 59-year-old woman.  Michael Eugene Ingold, 57, is charged in the death of a woman whose body was found in a town of Wescott home before dawn on June 25, said Shawano County Chief Deputy George Lenzner. Sheriff’s officials are not releasing the woman’s name.  Ingold is being held in the Shawano County Jail. He is due back in court on Aug. 12.  Authorities said the killing was a domestic incident, but have not shared details of the killing, except to say that a coroner said the woman died from strangulation.

June 26th –Brian Isacc Colon, Age 25:  Milwaukee, WI


A 25-year-old Milwaukee man died after being shot near 95th and Brown Deer Road Sunday afternoon, police say.  Milwaukee police said an argument escalated into the shooting. Officers are seeking unknown suspects.  The shooting happened around 1:20 p.m.

July 8th – Cynthia Walker, Age 66:  Milwaukee WI


Milwaukee endured a rather violent 72 hours in the city this past weekend. In one instance, a Milwaukee woman died on her front porch. The victim’s family said the man she loved killed her.”I don’t need pictures to remember my mother. It’s there. It’s there,” said Keasha Walker, who is finding comfort in the memories of her mother. “Everybody called her mom. She fed everybody.”Family members say Cynthia Walker’s boyfriend shot and killed her on Friday night, July 8. Milwaukee police say this is a domestic violence-related case. Walker, 66, died on her porch near 44th and Meinecke just before 9:30 p.m. Keasha Walker said her 7-year-old son found his grandmother’s body.”He said mom, I heard a loud pop and I heard something that sounded like it fell. I thought my granny fell, so I took off. He said when I got downstairs and my granny was there bleeding,” Keasha Walker said.

Homicides kept Milwaukee police busy over the weekend. At least six people died in separate shootings across the city. “I would not put this on anybody,” Walker said.There are no formal charges yet. That is why the 61-year-old man Milwaukee police arrested in connection with Cynthia Walker’s death has not yet been named.  It is pain the Walker family hopes no one else will ever have to bear.  “If anybody that is watching this is going through what my mother was going through, and they are hiding it. They need to get away. If a person loves you, they shouldn’t want to love you to death,” Keasha Walker said

Eduardo Hernandez, age 50, Milwaukee WI,  a neighbor of the perpetrator, was also killed within the same hour.

Domestic violence, sexual assault resources

July 14th – Okeyin Riles, Age 42 and her daughter, LaDasia Porter, Age 19 – Milwaukee

A family member says the two women shot and killed at a Milwaukee home are 42-year-old Okeyin Riles, and her daughter 19-year-old LaDasia Porter.  It happened around 11:30 a.m. Thursday at a home near N 6th Street and West Ring Street in Milwaukee. Witnesses and neighbors said they heard a man yelling, then seconds later there were gunshots.  “When I was coming up I heard him come out the door saying, ‘oh (expletive).’ And then when I got to the house, I guess he went to his car and came back and ‘boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,” said neighbor and friend to Riles Mary Norman. “She was very nice, a very nice lady… And her daughter was nice too.  It’s a difficult loss for Larry Riles and his family. Larry is Okeyin’s brother and LaDasia’s uncle.He said to know them was to love them.

“With some families, it’s like ‘not this person, not this one,’ she was so big on family, he told WISN 12 News. “They lost an angel. When it came to my sister, they really lost an angel… When it came to my niece, you know she was a soldier, because she’s going to protect anyone who’s around her. She was young and bright.”  He said LaDasia was trying to protect her mother from a domestic violence situation.  “He ended up shooting LaDasia and then shooting my sister,” he said.

The two were their rock and light in hard times for their family.  “Anytime she [Okeyin] came into the building you knew she was there because everyone around her is going to have a good time,” Riles said. “She’s going to make sure you’re smiling and having a good time, she was just a beautiful person.”  The two leave behind several other children and siblings.Milwaukee police said they are looking for the shooter, but they know who it is.  Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 414-224-Tips or the P3 Tips App.

July 18th – Ninoshka Maestre Lozada, Age 24:  West Allis WI 

West Allis police arrested a suspect they say is connected to the deadly shooting of a 24-year-old woman in West Allis on Monday.The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as 24-year-old Ninoshka M. Maestre Lozada.  Court records identify the suspect as 25-year-old Wilson Medina Cruz. Cruz has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide with the use of a dangerous weapon.  Officers believe the suspect and the victim knew each other and shared a domestic relationship.  On Monday afternoon, the family says Lozada was cleaning out a pool for the kids to play in when she was shot in the backyard. The family says her oldest son, who is 5 years old, was with her and witnessed it.  A judge has ordered no contact to be allowed for Cruz’s two kids who witnessed the homicide. He is also not allowed access to a firearm or dangerous weapon.  Officers arrived around 12:30 p.m. near 72nd and Madison for reports of shots fired. There they found Lozada suffering from gunshot wounds. She later died at the scene of the incident.  Police said in a statement the 25-year-old man was arrested at a local hotel. Police are not seeking any other suspects.  Cruz’s bail has been set at $500,000 cash. His preliminary court date is scheduled for August 2nd.  A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Lozada’s childcare costs as well as funeral expenses.

July 19th – Alwiya S. Mohamed, Age 20:  Milwaukee, WI 

The Milwaukee Police Department said a welfare check resulted in the discovery of a double shooting Tuesday night.  The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as 20-year-old Alwiya S. Mohamed and 26-year-old Ibrahim M. Hussein.  When officials responded to a welfare of a citizen call near 39th and Center, they found a 20-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man dead inside a home.  Police said both victims had been shot and were pronounced dead on the scene.  The Milwaukee Police Department said the circumstances that led to the shooting appeared to be domestic related, but they are still investigating.If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the police at 414-935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS.

July 20th – Ladda Donsanouphith, Age 49:  Milwaukee, WI 

A fatal shooting of a woman on the 3400 block of West National Avenue was reported Wednesday afternoon by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Milwaukee police said the suspected shooter, 62-year-old Bounlanh Souvannasane, went on to shoot himself in the head after officers discharged a “non-lethal weapon” in his direction on the 1000 block of N. 26th Street. The man was transported to a hospital, where he later died.

The victim was identified Thursday by the Medical Examiner’s Office as Ladda Donsanouphith.

A Go Fund Me account has been established for the children.

July 26th – Bobbie Lou Schoeffling, Age 31:  Milwaukee, WI 

The Milwaukee County medical examiner responded to a homicide near 90th and Hampton Tuesday afternoon, July 26.  Police say the victim, a 31-year-old Milwaukee woman, was fatally shot.  She was identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office Wednesday as Bobbie Schoeffling.  The circumstances leading up to the shooting are under investigation.  Milwaukee police seek unknown suspects.

For an in-depth investigative report by Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, click here

July 27th – Lynn Smith, Age 55:  Chippewa Falls, WI 


We now have new information on July’s house fire in Chippewa Falls where a woman’s body was found. On Thursday the man accused of killing her was back in court as her family confirmed her identity for the first time.  The family said their mother and sister Lynn Smith was the woman found dead in the Superior Street Fire on July 27.  In court Thursday, her boyfriend Scott Vaningan answered mostly “yes” or “yes, your honor” when responding to Judge Steven Gibbs.  Vaningan and Smith lived at the home that was set on fire.  He is charged with homicide, arson, mutilating a corpse, and bail jumping.   According to the criminal complaint, he was out on bond for threatening a law enforcement officer when he allegedly committed these crimes.  Judge Gibbs noted that Vaningan waived his right to a preliminary hearing.  “Has anybody made any threats or promises to get you to waive your right to a preliminary hearing?” asked Gibbs.  “No, no your honor,” Vaningan said.  “Do you have any questions before I ask you if you want to waive it?” Gibbs asked. “No,” Vaningan said.  “Alright, so it is your intention to waive it?” Gibbs asked. “Mhm,” Vaningan replied.  Smith’s family said her death has been hard on all of them and that it will be difficult to find closure knowing the way she died.  Her GoFundMe said she loved spending time outside on Lake Superior and being with her grandchildren.  Vaningan is scheduled to be back in court on August 31st.

July 31st – Desiree D. Harris, Age 51:  Milwaukee, WI 

For the seventh time in little more than three weeks, Milwaukee police reported another woman was killed in a domestic violence-related shooting Sunday.  Shortly before 4:30 a.m., police were called to the 5700 block of North 38th Street on the city’s north side, where a 51-year-old woman was found with fatal gunshot injuries.  A suspect is in custody and charges will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in the coming days.  The victim was identified as Desiree D. Harris, of Milwaukee, by the county medical examiner’s office.  The shooting comes after six women of color were also killed under domestic violence-related circumstances between July 8 and 20 in Milwaukee County. Three men have since been charged in those incidents, and all were legally barred from possessing a gun and had other pending court cases.

Those victims have been identified as Cynthia Walker, O’keyin Riles and her daughter La’Dasia Porter, Ninoshka Maestre Lozada, Alwiya Mohamed and Ladda Donsanouphith.  Carmen Pitre, the president and CEO of the Sojourner Family Peace Center, which assists families dealing with domestic violence, said the last month “has been like nothing I have seen professionally.”She said too many victims appear to have been isolated and violence prevention workers must find more ways to intervene.  “There’s not a lot of connectivity between victims and resources,” she said. “We have to do more to get people connected.  “I’m concerned about the number of homicides, but that is a tip of an iceberg. There’s a bigger piece of near-fatal instances that I am extremely worried about.”  Using a broader definition of domestic violence than law enforcement, Pitre said Sojourner has tracked 30 cases of fatal domestic violence in the county so far this year, compared to 40 in all of 2021 and 52 in 2020.

Sojourner announced that on Tuesday it will release a five-year report on the county’s Domestic Violence High Risk Team, which includes members of Sojourner, Milwaukee police, the district attorney’s office and the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.  The team, which Pitre called effective but underfunded, took on more than 3,100 cases in the last five years and just one resulted in a fatality.At 3 p.m. Tuesday, the Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault is holding a special meeting to discuss the recent surge in domestic violence and possible solutions. Details on attending the virtual meeting can be found here.

“We ask everyone to pay attention to our loved ones and encourage them to seek support at the earliest signs of mistreatment, regardless of the status of that relationship,” the commission said in a statement last week. “We also know the importance of urging our community to assist those engaging in harmful behavior to seek assistance and resources to change their behavior and actions. We are all violence prevention and must act accordingly.”

Where to find help

Our Peaceful Home, which serves Muslim families and is a program of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, operates a crisis line at (414) 727-1090.

The Hmong American Women’s Association, which serves the Hmong and southeast Asian community, has advocates available at (414) 930-9352 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Asha Project, which serves African American women in Milwaukee, provides a crisis line from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (414) 252-0075.

The UMOS Latina Resource Center in Milwaukee offers bilingual, bicultural, domestic violence, sexual assault and anti-human trafficking supportive services and operates a 24-hour hotline at (414) 389-6510.

The Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee operates a 24-hour confidential hotline at (414) 933-2722.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 800-799-7233.

August 1st,  Man found dead during SWAT situation near Fond du Lac

A man was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound during a SWAT situation near Fond du Lac Monday.  The Sheriff’s Office says the situation was located at a private residence on Niagara Lane in the town of Taycheedah, northeast of Fond du Lac.  “We would like to thank all responding agencies for their assistance, Mercury Marine for the use of their facility and parking lot for command post and other emergency responder staging, and our citizens for their patience while we worked to safely resolve this potentially dangerous situation,” reads a statement from Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt.

Shelter-in-place recommendations have been lifted. County Highway UU reopened to traffic. The sheriff says detectives and law enforcement will remain on the scene for investigation.  At about 9:30 a.m., a woman called police to report a domestic domestic dispute in which a man was armed with a rifle. The woman was able to escape the home unharmed.  SWAT, K-9 units, negotiators and drone units were called to the scene. The man was later found dead.  No law enforcement or citizens were hurt. There was no use of force, according to the Sheriff’s Office.The Sheriff’s Office received help from Fond du Lac Police Department, Fond du Lac Fire/Rescue, Mt. Calvary Ambulance, Wisconsin State Patrol, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

August 10th, Man found dead after tactical situation in Green Lake County

A man is dead after a tactical situation in Green Lake County.  The Sheriff’s Office says the man died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. His name was not released.  At about 11:30 a.m., dispatchers received a 911 call from a woman that her ex-boyfriend was in her home in Berlin and he was not supposed to be there.  Officers learned the man left the scene and was walked across the road.  About five minutes after they arrived on scene, a deputy headed a single gunshot about a quarter-mile from the home.  Hours later, a drone unit located the man along the banks of the river near Mascoutin Golf Course.  The man was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials say.  Multiple crews responded to the scene. The case remains under investigation.

August 10th,  Police shoot and kill Wisconsin man after domestic dispute

Police in Appleton, Wisconsin, shot and killed a man after responding to a domestic disturbance call, authorities said Saturday.  The shooting happened after officers were confronted by an armed man when they were called to a home in Appleton on Friday night, the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation said in a news release.  Officers tried to negotiate with the man but later shot him, the department said. He died at an Appleton hospital.  No officers were hurt during the confrontation.

A firearm was recovered at the scene and body camera footage captured the shooting, according to the Justice Department’s news release.  The Appleton police officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave, which is policy after a shooting.  Authorities did not release any additional information.

August 10th – Elexis Gridiron, Age 20, Milwaukee WI

A 20-year-old Milwaukee woman was killed in what appears to have been a shooting sparked by an argument, near Northridge Mall Friday morning, police say.  Family identified the woman as Elexis Gridiron. They say her ex-boyfriend shot her.  Milwaukee police said in a statement that first responders pronounced Gridiron dead around 9 a.m. near 76th and Brown Deer.  With heavy hearts, friends and family gathered outside of the apartment where they say Gridiron was killed.  An older cousin on the scene said Gridiron worked as a certified nursing assistant and stayed to herself.

Family says they heard from her Friday morning and that it was a friend who was on Facetime with her who heard the gunshots.  Milwaukee activist Vaun Mayes and his team were there to deescalate anything that may happen. At times, emotions flared as family members were overcome with sorrow.  “We are not in a good place,” Mayes said. “I’ve been saying that for a while since COVID.”  According to Milwaukee Police, 11 women have been killed in domestic violence-related homicides this year. Nearly triple the number at this time last year, when the city saw four.  Mayes said this staggering increase calls for elected officials to step up.  “We need more people to get involved in the process. We need our attorney general,” Mayes stated.  But, more importantly, provide more resources for those in domestic-related situations.  “This is an issue that needs enhancements around support and loss for men and women who deal with this,” Mayes said.


August 23th – Stephanie Pavlons, Age 44, Delafield, WI

About a year after a construction crew found a dead body in the town of Delafield, a Waukesha man has been charged with the murder of his longtime girlfriend.  On Sept. 9, 2022, Findorff Construction employees called 911 after they found a dead woman in a wooded area east of N15W28300 Golf Road, according to the criminal complaint filed on Sept. 18 in Waukesha County.  The suspect is the victim’s longtime boyfriend, 55-year-old Matthew Pahl, the complaint said. She was last seen leaving their residence on August 23rd, 2022.  He was taken into custody for questioning on Sept. 17, 2022, and later released.  As of Sept. 19 of this year, he is in custody, facing two felony charges: first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.

August 25th – Nikia Rogers, Age 36, Milwaukee WI

A Milwaukee man has been charged in connection to a homicide and house fire that happened on the city’s north side Aug. 25. A warrant is out for his arrest.  Prosecutors accuse 47-year-old Ernest Terrell Blakney of shooting and killing his ex-girlfriend before setting his home on fire near 83rd and Vienna.  The Milwaukee police and fire departments were called to the home just before 4:30 a.m. for a “house fire.” While working to put out the flames, the fire department found the homicide victim, identified as 36-year-old Nikia Rogers, on the second floor of the home.  An autopsy found Rogers had four gunshot wounds caused by two bullets – shot in the head and back. The medical examiner’s office ruled the gunshot wounds as the cause of death in the manner of a homicide.

A criminal complaint states the fire could have started in four different places: the detached garage, the basement, the first floor and Rogers’ body. Her body had several burns consistent with having been set on fire, and police found a container of lighter fluid nearby.  The complaint states Blakney and Rogers lived at the home together. There were multiple vehicles at the home registered to Blakney; however, the one vehicle registered to Rogers was missing.  Investigators spoke to a man who said he’d known Rogers for several years, and they had become “reacquainted” a few weeks before the fire. The man said Rogers described Blakney as “crazy” and that he was moving things out of the home.

The man said he got a message from the Rogers’ phone number, sent a few minutes after emergency crews were called to the fire on Aug. 25, that said: “You should have left her alone.” The man replied “excuse me,” to which someone replied, “she dead.” The witness said he knew Blakney to go by his middle name, Terrell, so he asked: “This Terrell?” The number answered, “yes,” according to the complaint

A witness, who identified Blakney from a photo, told investigators Blakney called him around 5 a.m. the morning of the fire. Blakney said he was “in the woods” and said he was “sorry” – but did not explain why, the witness said. Around 30 minutes later, the witness said Blakney showed up at his home “soaking wet” and bleeding. Blakney changed his clothes and threw his wet clothes away, which police later seized.  The complaint states the witness asked Blakney why he was sorry, but he would only repeat that he was sorry and that “she made me do it; eventually, Blakney said “I shot her.” The witness asked who, and said Blakney responded that he shot Rogers because she was moving out.  The witness later noted Blakney had a gun, per the complaint. Blakney also said, according to the witness, that he had burned his house down and was going to burn his tractor trailers near 76th and Florist. The witness said he tried to calm Blakney down and convince him to turn himself in, but he refused and left.

Based on the witness’ statements, police searched a wooded area near Swan and Allyn – roughly seven miles from the scene of the fire. Officers saw tire tracks heading from the road into a field and found Rogers’ SUV abandoned roughly 100 yards into the field.  Later, the complaint states, police spoke to a third man. The man told police he was repairing a bulldozer at a construction site near the woods on Aug. 25 and heard “metal collapsing” while he was at his work truck. He went to the back of the truck and saw a man, whom he identified as Blakney from a photo lineup, pointing a gun at him. Blakney demanded the keys to the truck and ordered the man to get inside a trailer, locking the man in from the outside before driving away in the truck. The man eventually forced his way out and called 911.  The complaint states Blakney was previously charged with second-degree sexual assault – accused of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 2020 – and was released in November 2021 after posting $5,000 cash bail.


August 26th -Milwaukee police: Officer shot, suspect dead near 11th and Keefe, Milwaukee WI

A Milwaukee man is dead, and a police officer was wounded after an unusual sequence of events near 11th and Keefe on Friday, Aug. 26.  Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said the officer was hit by a bullet that likely came from the suspect’s gun after that suspect had already shot himself in the head. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office identified as the man as DeShaunte Adams.

“I was like, ‘Oh lord, they’re in front of my house.’ I’m devastated,” neighbor Mellownie Anderson said. “Never seen it on my block like this.”  A police scene like Friday’s leaves a lot of questions, especially after hearing what happened.  “Couldn’t go nowhere, do nothing. So I was looking around, asking questions, said Anderson. “I’m still – just can’t get over it right now.”  The 36-year-old officer was shot in the leg. Norman said the bullet came from the 43-year-old suspect’s gun after he’d already shot himself in the head.  “We’re still trying to figure out how that all occurred,” said Norman.  It all started just before noon. Police were looking for a Milwaukee man wanted for a domestic abuse injunction. Officers found him near 11th and Keefe and ran after him.  Police said the suspect shot at officers and officers fired back. As the chase continued, Norman said the suspect shot toward officers a second time. No one was hit as the bullets flew.  Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman on Friday provided information about an incident near 11th and Keefe, saying an officer was shot and a suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.The suspect ran into a backyard, according to police, and shot himself in the head. He died as a result.  “After officers approached the suspect, for officers’ safety, the officers stabilized the suspect with a tactical ballistic shield when a suspect’s firearm inadvertently discharged, subsequently striking an officer nearby,” Norman explained.  It remains unclear if the suspect was dead at the time the bullet hit the officer.  “We know the medical examiner’s office is here. We’re going to be working in tandem with them on what was all the dynamics on how that firearm went off,” said Norman.  Police said they do not have an exact number of how many officers were involved at the time, and that, as of now, no one is on administrative duty in connection to the incident.  The chief said the officer who was shot is in the hospital, expected to recover and in good spirits.


August 27th -Shaun Lewis: Age 48, New Richmond, WI


A 53-year-old woman was charged with homicide on Monday in St. Croix County Court for the death of a 48-year-old man in a New Richmond home on Saturday morning.  Marian Kaitlyn Smith of New Richmond was charged with 1st-degree intentional homicide and two counts of resisting or obstructing an officer during an initial appearance in St. Croix County Circuit Court.  According to a release from the New Richmond Police Department, 48-year-old Shaun Lewis, Smith’s fiancé, was found on the floor inside of a residence on the 600 block of North 2nd Street in New Richmond with multiple puncture wounds. Life-saving efforts by first responders were not successful and Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene. St. Croix County Dispatch had been called at 6:03 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27 by Smith about a person that needed medical attention at a home on North 2nd Street.  In documents filed in court with the charges, first responders noted that the scene had been partly cleaned of blood prior to law enforcement arriving at the residence. Smith told police she attempted CPR and that she had argued with Lewis that morning when Lewis was doing dishes early in the morning. Smith said that they fought over a knife, and that Lewis fell on it during the fight. An autopsy found that Lewis had two stab wounds and that his cause of death was homicide.  The address is the same home address listed for Smith in online court records.  Investigators believe the death was an isolated domestic incident and the public is not in danger at this time, according to the release. There are no other suspects sought or in custody.  Smith is being held on a $500,000 cash bond at the St. Croix County Jail with conditions that she not contact the victim’s family or the witness, Smith has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday, Sep. 2, according to online court records.  Assisting the New Richmond Police Department were St. Croix County Dispatch, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Department, Hudson Police Department, River Falls Police Department, New Richmond EMS and the St. Croix County Medical Examiner.

September 2nd:  Milwaukee police shooting; accused killer dead after chase

A man wanted in connection with a Milwaukee homicide is dead after a police shooting downtown late Friday, Sept. 2.   The man, shot and killed by police in Milwaukee’s downtown bar district following a lengthy high-speed chase around the city, is 47-year-old homicide suspect Ernest Blakney, according to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.  Police have not confirmed it was Blakney, but had identified the man who was shot and killed as a 47-year-old homicide suspect.  Blakney was wanted for the homicide of his ex-girlfriend, 36-year-old Nikia Rogers. A warrant for Blakney’s arrest was issued on Monday, Aug. 29.

September 11th -Jessica Wray: Age 45, Madison, WI


According to Channel 3000, Police said a man who took his own life by stepping in front of a tractor-trailer in Wisconsin Sunday was a suspect in his wife’s slaying earlier that day.  Chief Shon Barnes with the Madison Police Department said officers were called to a home where they found that the victim had been “violently, physically attacked.”  The attack had ended with one woman dead, but that was far from the end of the case.  Barnes on Monday laid out a wild and tragic series of events that ended with another death.  The events began around 3:15 p.m. Sunday when police received a call reporting someone was dead in a home. Police said the caller wasn’t on the scene.  The responding officers found a woman in her 40s dead inside the home.  As police tried to find the woman’s husband, another call came in just before 3:30 p.m. reporting that a man had left his car and gotten hit by another car.  Police said the man was able to get back into his own car and drive off.  The third and final call came just before 3:50 p.m. This time, the caller reported the same man had again gotten out of his vehicle before running into traffic, where he was hit and killed by a tractor-trailer.  Barnes said the man was identified as the husband of the dead woman. He also said officers had not been called to the home before.  Police still view what happened inside the home as something that should be addressed. “Domestic violence continues to be an issue that plagues our community, even though it remains sometimes hidden,” Aureille Smith, director of policy planning and evacuation, said.  The couple’s identities have not yet been released. The incident is being investigated as a murder-suicide.

September 24th -Olivia Wright: Age 31, Milwaukee, WI


One month after a Milwaukee woman was killed near 48th and Chambers, Olivia Wright’s father, Timothy Oliger, is keeping her memory alive.  “This is just unbelievable,” Oliger said as he flipped through the pages of his daughter’s obituary. “I’m always waiting for a call from her.”  Wright was shot and killed near 48th and Chambers on Sept 24.”She was a good parent. She loved her kids,” Oliger said. “I just can’t believe she’s gone. It didn’t have to happen. It really didn’t.”Prosecutors charged Donnell Ragsdale with reckless homicide in connection to Wright’s death.According to her father, Wright and Ragsdale were in a relationship.”It was very toxic for years,” Oliger said.

A criminal complaint says after the shooting, Ragsdale told detectives he and Wright got into an argument, and she picked up a gun.  Prosecutors say Ragsdale admitted they got into a struggle over the gun.  During the struggle, Ragsdale allegedly twisted the gun so that it pointed at Wright, and the gun went off, shooting her.  “I don’t know that there had been struggling over a gun,” said Oliger. “When I to the house and saw the aftermath of it, it looked like she had been laying in the bed.”  Oliger asked that families check on their loved ones as police investigate his daughter’s death”Sometimes, this can be prevented just by somebody reaching out and saying, ‘Are you OK? Do you need anything?’” said Oliger.  Oliger wants to honor his daughter’s memory.  “I don’t want people to forget her,” said Oliger. “Her life didn’t have to end like this. I don’t want to see anyone else have to go through what I’m going through right now.”

September 24th -Kania Brunson Age 20, Milwaukee, WI

Criminal charges were filed this week, one month after the life of a 20-year-old Milwaukee woman came to a violent end.  Kania Brunson’s mom calls her daughter her best friend. Two men face charges, but the criminal complaint points to lies others told, and for that, Brunson’s mom’s pressing ahead.  Kania Brunson turned 20 in June. A joy to be around.  “She can make you smile right away. You know me and her, we laugh about the silliest things,” said Cameron Meadows, Kania’s stepdad.  Brunson wanted to be an orthodontist or a vet, later learning she was good at making others look good, so she enrolled in beauty school.  “She actually taught me how to put on eyelashes and do my eyebrows,” said Jennifer Meadows, Kania’s mom.

“I wasn’t even there 30 minutes and they called and told me her car was found, and I knew then, at that point, like something happened to her,” said Jennifer Meadows.  The day of the murder police say Brunson met up with a married man she’d been seeing, Sutan Shareef. Strangely, he’d reached out to Brunson’s mom a week earlier.  “He goes on to say I want to be done messing with your daughter but she’s reaching out to my wife,” Jennifer Meadows said.  Sept. 24 a friend of Shareef called 911 after he says he saw Shareef on top of the victim in Shareef’s car and that “the female stated, ‘he cut my throat,’ she was screaming and pleading for help.”  Police didn’t locate the two then, but hours later were called to an alley near Keefe and Palmer where Brunson had been tied, shot and then set on fire.   “She was everything to me. She was everything and this is the most hurtful feeling,” said Jennifer Meadows.  Police interviewed several people, including Shareef’s wife, who claimed he’d been with her the night of the murder, which the complaint says was debunked through video evidence.  “And they think that they’re gonna be out here and live their normal life after they, you know, helped with this,” said Jennifer Meadows.  Shareef’s brother-in-law, Johnny Allen Hopgood, is charged as an accomplice.  “I just want the same thing that my wife wants. I want justice and I want it to be at the full extent. It’s still unbelievable. It’s still hard to believe that you know, she’s not here with us,” said Cameron Meadows.  Bond for Sultan Shareef is $500,000 and for Johnny Allen Hopgood it’s $50,000. Both are due back in court next week.

October 1st – Lori Steinmetz : Age 55, and Paul Brennan, Age 75,  Little Suamico, WI

Lori’s Obituary

A man accused of killing two people after admitting that he heard voices telling him to kill someone was in court on Friday. A $1 million dollar cash bond was set for 27-year-old David Steinmetz. He is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of 55-year-old Lori Steinmetz and 75-year-old Paul Brennan. He is also charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

According to court records, Steinmetz had vehicle problems , and his mom and Brennan rented a vehicle and went to get him. The group all returned to a residence in Little Suamico. Steinmetz admitted to police that he had been using meth on a daily basis. According to the complaint, Steinmetz heard a voice telling him that he had to take a life or his would be taken. According to the complaint, Steinmetz felt that if he did not take his mom’s life, someone would take out more of his family so he justified it as saving other lives.

The two victims each suffered multiple gunshot wounds, the complaint states.

Police had been to the home previously, with an investigator describing Steinmetz’s relationship with Brennan as “contemptuous,” and Steinmetz had threatened his mother’s life in the past, according to the complaint.

October 6th -Alice Langer: Age 76, Wyocena, WI


Authorities have arrested a man they say shot and killed a 76-year-old woman in the fall of 2022.  Larry Manthe, 79, of the Town of Wyocena, is being held in the Columbia County Jail on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon and domestic violence.  On Oct. 6, 2022, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by family members of Alice Langer, 76, of the Town of Wyocena. They told deputies they had not heard from her for over 15 hours.  Deputies responded to the woman’s home. Langer was found dead inside the home from a gunshot wound to the head.

According to the criminal complaint, the sergeant on scene reported finding Langer in the shower with a handgun on her lap and a gunshot wound to the left side of her head.  Court records show the shooting was originally thought to be self-inflicted.  However, after an autopsy was completed, the medical examiner claimed the gunpowder stippling, or gunpowder burns on her body, weren’t commonly seen in suicides.  The criminal complaint also shows that while the gunshot was to the left side of her head, the victim’s family told investigators she was right-handed.  Manthe reportedly told detectives he didn’t think Langer was strong enough to load a gun, but later recanted that statement.   Columbia County sheriff detectives report finding Manthe’s DNA on the gun and ammunition.  On Friday, Manthe was arrested for the crime and charged with first-degree intentional homicide.  Nadiya Kirkmeyer lives next door to the couple and said she grew up knowing Langer.  “She was a great lady,” she said. “Very caring and loving”  Kirkmeyer said  Langer’s death came as a shock to the neighborhood.

“It’s just us four neighbors here,” she said. “We had no idea anything was going on so this was just out of the blue like nobody saw it coming.”  She said she never had an unpleasant interaction with Manthe but didn’t speak to him nearly as often as she talked to Langer.  “I haven’t really seen him out and about like I usually do,” Kirkmeyer added. “He’d be like mowing the lawn, or he’d come say hi to people around the neighborhood but I haven’t seen that since I’ve been home.”  The sheriff’s office says Manthe and Langer were in a long-term relationship at the time of Langer’s death.  A press release stated Langer intended to end the relationship and move out of the home.  Court records show she reportedly told Manthe he had until October 10, 2022 to pay her for his half of the home.  Langer was found dead four days short of that deadline.  Manthe is expected to make an initial court appearance on Monday.

October 10th -Kenita Sanders: Age 40, Milwaukee, WI


A family is devastated after Kenita Sanders, 40, was found dead in Milwaukee on Monday, Oct. 10.  Kenya Moore cannot believe she lost her mother.  “I was on the phone with her at least five to six times a day while she was at work, and I’d call her at night and tell her I love her. My mama was always my best friend, up until the day the tragedy happened, my mama always been my best friend.”  Moore says her mother, Kenita, who goes by Nikki, was found dead at her home near 22nd and Locust streets on Monday evening.  Police initially revealed her body was in a trash can.

Investigators said  they had made an arrest, but a week later, they said they were looking for a person of interest.  Moore believes her mother was a victim of domestic violence and has a message for anyone who sees the signs of abuse.  “Even if you respect that person, and respect their relationship, and know they’re going to go back chance after chance, you still need to speak up.”  And she hopes her mother is remembered for the constant joy she spread to everyone.  “She always had the positive attitude, she was everybody’s favorite cousin, everybody’s favorite friend, everybody’s best friend.”

October 12th -Johnathon Robinson: Age 24, Milwaukee, WI

A 17-year-old from Milwaukee is now accused in the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man on the city’s south side on Wednesday, Oct. 12. The accused is Lamar Conners – and he faces a charge of second-degree reckless homicide.  According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police were dispatched to the area near 25th and Maple on Wednesday evening for a shooting report. When officers arrived on the scene, they found a person laying on the sidewalk. This person had suffered gunshot wounds. The victim was taken to a hospital — and he later died from his injuries.

Milwaukee police interviewed Conners about this incident. Conners stated he lives with his mother and the shooting victim. The shooting victim entered the kitchen at the residence, and it appeared he was going to get a bottle of water, Conners told police. A short time later, the shooting victim “suddenly began to swing” at another person in the kitchen. Conners told police “he did not know what to do, and he did not want (the shooting victim) to hurt anyone,” the complaint says. Conners then said he “saw the gun on the table, picked it up, and shot (the victim),” the complaint says. The victim then left the apartment.  When police arrived on the scene, they asked who was the shooter, and Conners “admitted that he was the shooter,” the complaint says.  Conners made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Saturday, ct. 15. Cash bond was set at $2,000. Conners is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 25.
October 20th Self-Defense shooting, DV-related, Milwaukee, WI

26-year-old Cortez Wright was shot and killed during an argument with the brother of a woman with whom he had an abusive relationship.  The girlfriend and Cortez had been verbally arguing all day, which turned physical. She called her mother, who brought along her brothers.  One brother said,  “You’re not going to beat on my sister any longer!” 5 shots were fired and the brothers fled the area. The shooting was later determined to be self-defense.

October 21st -Jessica McKisick, Natalie Kleemeier, Age 14, Sofina Kleemeier, Age 12, Lincoln and Colton McKisick: Age 3, Hartland, WI

The six people found dead after an apartment fire in the village of Hartland Friday likely died in a murder-suicide incident.  Hartland Police Chief Torin Misko said during a press conference Monday evening that all victims had one gunshot wound. He said Connor McKisick, who was a father and stepfather to the four kids, had a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  An ignitable liquid and multiple firearms also were found in the unit where the family resided. The details and context of all the other individual’s wounds are still under investigation; however, Misko said no other persons of interest are related to this matter and no immediate danger exists to the community.  This incident remains under investigation by the Hartland Police Department in conjunction with the Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office and the State Fire Marshal through the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.  “This is a tragic incident for the family of the deceased, for our first responders and for the Hartland community,” Misko said. “The family has asked for privacy while they mourn the loss of their loved ones.”

The incident was first reported by multiple neighbors in the cul-de-sac around 700 Mansfield Court where the shootings and the fire took place. The first call came in around 5:11 a.m. First responders discovered a fire in the four-family apartment building upon arrival and were able to get the remaining 10 residents out of the building. Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies remained on scene all day Friday to investigate the incident.  The six victims were identified Sunday night as Connor and Jessica McKisick and their four children. Two of the children were identified as 14-year-old Natalie Kleemeier, and 12-year-old Sofina Kleemeier; two 3-year-old boys who died have not been named. All six individuals lived together in the same apartment unit, at 700 Mansfield Court.  A GoFundMe has been set up by the family to help with funeral costs at https://www.gofundme.com/f/natalie-kleemeier.  Additionally, three other families that resided in the building have been displaced, Misko said. Village Administrator Ryan Bailey said the village is collecting gift cards for food and clothing as their belongings were lost in the fire. Gift cards can be delivered to the second floor of Hartland Village Hall, 210 Cottonwood Ave., between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Donations are also being accepted at the Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly, 505 Cottonwood Ave., Hartland.  GoFundMe fundraising pages also have been set up for the displaced families by friends and relatives. They can be found below:  Father, mother and two sons: bit.ly/3gFY8O0, Mother and three kids: bit.ly/3eZMM79  A couple in the building: https://www.gofundme.com/f/hartland-fire

November 12th -Jacquelyn Jo Rooney: Age 51, Fond du Lac, WI


Fond du Lac woman was stabbed multiple times and suffered head trauma in a domestic violence killing, police say.  Jacquelyn Jo Rooney, 51, was found dead Nov. 12 at her apartment on E. Merrill Avenue.  Gary E. Davis, 57, was charged Tuesday with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide, Mayhem, and Hiding a Corpse, and now could face the rest of his life in prison. Police say he had been in an “intimate relationship” with Rooney.  Police had been called to perform a welfare check on Rooney after she failed to show up to her appointments at a methadone clinic for three days.  Officers entered the apartment and found Rooney wrapped in a sleeping bag and covered in blankets and debris.  Police say they found pools of blood on the ground and possible blood spatter on surfaces in the apartment.

“Initial evidence reflected numerous penetrating knife wounds as well as some type of trauma to Jacquelyn’s head, which was consistent with preliminary autopsy finding of multiple stab wounds to her body and blunt force trauma to her head,” said Police Chief Aaron Goldstein.  An autopsy revealed she was stabbed more than 12 times in the torso, three separate skull fractures from blunt force trauma, and a broken jaw.

November 15th -Melissa Wright: Age 41, Marshfield, WI

The Marshfield Police Department has released more information regarding an incident at a Marshfield home Tuesday morning.  According to a press release, police responded to a home on Sycamore Ave for a welfare check of 41-year-old Melissa Wright. Police say a co-worker called police concerned after Wright did not show up for work.  When police arrived at the home they found a vehicle registered to 48-year-old Heath Heck parked in the driveway. The front door was damaged consistent with a break-in. Officers performed a protective sweep of the home and found both Wright and Heck dead. The investigation revealed that Heck shot and killed Wright and then turned the gun on himself.  Police say Wright and Heck had been married. They divorced in 2020. They have two children. The children were unharmed and are currently with family.

November 21st -Quiana Mann: Age 44, Milwaukee, WI


A 10-year-old boy who shot and killed his 44-year-old mother last week in Milwaukee is being charged with first-degree homicide as an adult.  According to a criminal complaint, the boy was allegedly mad at his mom for waking him up early and not letting him have something on Amazon.The fatal shooting took place near 87th and Hemlock around 7 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 21. Police initially reported the boy was playing with the gun when it discharged, striking his mom. The woman, identified as Quiana Mann, was shot in the head and died from her injuries.  According to the criminal complaint, when the boy was first interviewed he said he was twirling the gun around his finger and it “accidentally went off.” After killing his mom, the boy woke up his sister who then found their mother dead and called 911.

Due to his age, the boy was allowed to remain with his family. However, the following day, the family contacted the Milwaukee Police Department with “serious concerns.”  The complaint says the boy’s 26-year-old sister told detectives he has had “rage issues” all of his life and “five different imaginary people that talk to him.”  A therapist previously gave the boy a “concerning diagnosis” and the mother had placed cameras inside the home to watch him, according to the complaint. Two weeks prior to the woman’s murder, “someone had unplugged these cameras.”  The sister also told detectives she learned that the morning after their mother’s death, the boy logged onto their mother’s Amazon account and ordered an Oculus Virtual Reality Headset.  The complaint says a family member also alleged that the boy would pick their puppy up by the tail and “swing the puppy around until it whined and howled in pain.” This occurred when the boy was allegedly four-years-old.  An aunt told detectives that the boy never cried or showed remorse following his mother’s death. The complaint alleges the 10-year-old told his aunt that he was “actually aiming the gun at his mother.” The day after his mother’s death, the aunt said he apologized for killing his mom and then asked if his Amazon package arrived.

In a second interview with detectives, the boy allegedly admitted he retrieved the gun because he was mad at her for waking him up early and not letting him get something on Amazon. He told detectives his mom walked in front of him when he tried to shoot the wall to “scare her.” The complaint also says he admitted to getting his mother’s keys for the gun lock box the night before.  Neighbors described the family as average. Steve Frisch has lived near 87th and Hemlock for more than two decades. His quiet neighborhood was shaken up last week when police arrested the 10-year-old.  “Still surprised when there’s a shooting around, (it is) usually (a) quiet neighborhood,” Frisch said. “(The family) just asked me how I’m doing and stuff like that.”Wednesday morning, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson was asked about the charges the 10-year-old is facing.

“Anytime there is a crime in the city, whether it’s by a 10-year-old or someone much older, it’s concerning,” Mayor Johnson said. “I don’t want people getting hurt. As for this case, I’m just learning about it. I got the details this morning.”  The 10-year-old has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.  He had his initial appearance in court on Friday and a cash bond of $50,000 was set. He will appear in court for a status hearing on Dec. 7.

November 27th -Clarence H. Banks: Age 92, Amherst, WI

A 78-year-old Amherst man charged with shooting his companion’s 92-year-old father on Nov. 27 pleaded not guilty Monday in Portage County Circuit Court.  Miles W. Bradley is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for the shooting death of Clarence H. Banks. Portage County Circuit Judge Patricia Baker scheduled Bradley’s next hearing for June 27. A five-day trial has been scheduled to begin Aug. 14.  According to the criminal complaint, Bradley had been living with Banks’ daughter for about 20 years. Banks’ wife had died earlier in 2022, so his daughter had been spending a lot of time in Texas, where Banks and his wife had lived.  Banks’ daughter drove him to her home in Amherst at the beginning of November, so that she could spend Thanksgiving with him. Banks’ daughter owned the Amherst home.  Bradley had become angry over the amount of time Banks’ daughter was spending in Texas, and he yelled at a friend who had defended her actions, according to the complaint. Banks’ daughter told Bradley she was coming home with her father and she hoped Bradley would be out of the house when she arrived.  Bradley was still in the house when Banks and his daughter arrived on Nov. 20. He was good from that day until Nov. 26, according to the complaint. On Nov. 26, there was trouble with the television and Banks’ daughter asked Bradley to fix it. Bradley began yelling and swearing. The woman began yelling back, and Bradley “stormed off,” according to the complaint.

Bradley came out of a bedroom about midnight Nov. 27 and asked Banks’ daughter if she was still not speaking to him. She told him no and it was time to leave, according to the complaint. Bradley went back into the bedroom, then came out and started to complain about the time the woman was spending with her father.  The woman told Bradley that family comes first, and she was going to help her father. Bradley then pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the woman, according to the complaint. When the woman asked Bradley if he was going to shoot her, he said, “No, I’m going to shoot your dad,” according to the complaint. Bradley said Banks was ruining their relationship.  The woman tried to block Bradley from going down a set of stairs to where her father slept. She yelled for her brother to help her, but her brother didn’t hear her. Instead, Banks heard her and started up the steps. Bradley leaned over the stair’s railing and shot Banks in the head, according to the complaint.  Banks’ daughter ran down the stairs to help him and his son came out of his bedroom and called 911. When deputies arrived Bradley was outside and said the gun was on the table in the house. A deputy found the gun on the table, a casing on a stair near the top of the steps, a bullet about halfway down the stairs and Banks lying at the foot of the stairs, according to the complaint.  Bradley is being held in the Portage County Jail pending a $1 million cash bail. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

December 1st -No charges will be filed in shooting death of woman, Marinette, WI

A man won’t face charges in the shooting death of a woman in a Marinette apartment that happened earlier this month.  Marinette Police said Saturday in a news conference that Nicholas Smith was legally justified in shooting Edwina Anderson on December 1.  Police responded to the apartment earlier this month when someone called 911 to report a woman who was seen in the apartment complex hallway with gunshot wounds. Police said the woman, later identified as Anderson, had a bloody knife in her hand. Anderson was taken to the hospital but eventually died from her injuries.  Police said Smith also called 911 to report that he had been stabbed and thought he shot someone. He was also hospitalized and later taken to jail pending an investigation.  Marinette Police said following a review of the evidence, authorities determined the shooting was justified under Wisconsin law and no charges will be filed at this time.  Police also confirmed there were children in the apartment at the time of the incident, but they were unharmed and are now in the care of Marinette County Health and Human Services.

December 7th -Mary B. Beamon, Age 34, Milwaukee, WI


A Milwaukee woman went to a friend’s house for dinner but never returned home. Prosecutors say that friend shot and killed her Dec. 7 near 19th and Wright.  Mary Beamon never had any children, but her sister said she acted like a mother toward the entire family, always spot-on with advice even if the recipient didn’t want to hear it. That’s why it was so hard for this family to hear of the death of the 34-year-old.   They hope the world can see who she was and not just what happened.  Whether quick with a joke or just there for support, Shenarvia Smith says her younger sister always knew what to do.

Mary Beamon never had any children, but her sister said she acted like a mother toward the entire family, always spot-on with advice even if the recipient didn’t want to hear it. That’s why it was so hard for this family to hear of the death of the 34-year-old.   They hope the world can see who she was and not just what happened.  Whether quick with a joke or just there for support, Shenarvia Smith says her younger sister always knew what to do.  “Mary always made the situation better,” said Smith. “Whenever holidays or birthdays come, we could count on Mary. The kids could count on Mary.”  Smith remembers Beamon as outdoorsy and happy.  A doorbell camera captured one of her final moments after she came to a house near 19th and Wright Dec. 7 to have dinner with a friend.   “It don’t make sense, and I know my sister,” said Smith. “She ain’t gonna stick around for danger. Not at all. She gone.”   Prosecutors say after dinner, a joke escalated to violence, and Lenzie Jaster, 41, shot Beamon three times, killing her and then calling 911. Police arrested him minutes later.  Jaster told detectives he wanted Beamon to leave.  “Even if you wanted her to go, that’s still overkill,” said Smith. “Why? Why? Why would you overkill my sister?” They’re now hoping for justice, knowing nothing can bring Mary back.  “We were supposed to be the ‘Golden Girls,’ and he don’t even know what he took,” said Smith. “I’m trying to be strong. I really am.”  Jaster is charged with first-degree intentional homicide.  Smith said her family can’t afford a proper funeral for Beamon, so they’re asking for help. Anyone can donate by going to Banks Funeral Service & Cremation (2535 N Teutonia Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53206) and mentioning Beamon’s name with their donation.

December 8th -Tyrielle Jefferson, Age 7, Milwaukee, WI


Milwaukee authorities have identified the 25-year-old mother and her 7-year-old daughter who were found dead Thursday in Northridge Lake.  Khalilah S. Brister, 25, died by suicide, according to a report from the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.  The cause of death listed for her daughter, Tyrielle Jefferson, is homicide.  Brister and Tyrielle were found dead Thursday in a car submerged in Northridge Lake, located just across from the former Northridge Mall at North 76th Street and West Brown Deer Road.  Their deaths come after Brister’s mother called 911 about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to report that Brister was possibly suicidal and threatening to drive a car into “the lake,” according to a timeline of events provided by the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff’s deputies responded to Bradford Beach at Lake Michigan, but before they arrived, the Milwaukee County 911 dispatch center got word that Brister and her daughter had left, according to the sheriff’s office timeline.  The dispatch center asked the deputies en route to turn around. Dispatchers planned to transfer the call to an agency in another jurisdiction, where witnesses believed Brister was headed. According to a Monday statement on behalf of the Office of County Executive David Crowley, the Brown Deer Police Department was notified that Brister may have been entering their jurisdiction.  One sheriff’s deputy did continue heading to Bradford Beach, according to the timeline, but did not find Brister and her daughter. It was not immediately apparent what other agencies did to search for Brister and her daughter.

“Once a disposition is provided, it is standard best practice for dispatch to advise additional,voluntary squads that they can return to or remain in service,” the statement on behalf of the Office of the County Executive said. “This does not serve as a cancellation of the call in its entirety. Responding law enforcement personnel dictate all investigative actions and follow-up regarding a call for service. OEM’s 911 Communications Division dispatchers at the call center cannot, and do not, supersede the judgement of the investigating deputy on the scene.”  Brister’s mother called the sheriff’s office on Thursday to report she had not heard from her since 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.  As sheriff’s office investigators began to help Brister’s mother search for her daughter, someone called to report seeing the vehicle in Northridge Lake. Divers pulled the bodies of Brister and Tyrielle from the water.  The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating the deaths.  “On behalf of the County Executive our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims of thetragedy,” the statement said.

December 28th -Laure Jensen, Age 66, Juneau, WI


The Juneau County Sheriff’s Office has identified the two people found dead following a domestic disturbance on December 28.   Juneau County Sheriff Andrew Zobal said when officers arrived at the home on County Road O, they found a man and woman dead.  The sheriff’s office is now identifying the pair as Gary Jensen, 69, and Laurie Jensen, 66.  Zobal said through the course of the investigation, authorities determined Laurie “was the victim of homicide” and Gary died “from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”