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*VMBB Senior Chief Of Staff*
24,102 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday, when this tragic event was being excitedly reported over the media, such words as 'UPSCALE AREA' was prominently mentioned along with TV views...I pondered that selection of area description and thought to myself, "WHAT THE HELL MATTERS"? I'm constantly pestering my wife when she plans on getting out and about with her church activities, shopping, dining out with the girls, or what ever...Be aware of your surroundings and watch for suspicious activities around and about where your are...Muggings, purse snatchings, very prevelent here in our 'UPSCALE' community.
The people who commit these crimes are usually 'crime clever', but socially stupid...Seniors like my wife and I are more prone to those attacks that someone younger and able to fight back...Chief

October 21, 2012

Three Killed in Shooting at Spa in Wisconsin


BROOKFIELD, Wis. — A gunman opened fire inside a day spa in this Milwaukee suburb on Sunday morning, killing three women, forcing others — some bloodied and still in bathrobes — to flee into nearby streets, and sending the authorities on a tense hunt that was slowed by fears of explosives and ended hours later with the discovery of the gunman’s body.

In addition to the three people killed in the shooting at the Azana Salon and Spa, a long-established shop in a busy suburban commercial district near a mall, four women were injured in the shooting, the authorities said. None of the victims had been publicly named as of Sunday evening as the authorities sought to positively identify them and to notify family

The gunman, whom the police identified as Radcliffe F. Haughton, 45, a resident of Brown Deer, also died inside the spa, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the police said. The shootings appeared to stem from a domestic dispute, painfully documented in weeks of police reports and court orders, between Mr. Haughton and his estranged wife, who witnesses said was employed at the salon.

“Today’s action was a senseless act on the part of one person,” Mayor Steven V. Ponto of Brookfield said somberly late Sunday. He quickly added, “Try as we might, these can’t be avoided.”

Residents largely view the Milwaukee suburbs as safe and relatively removed from the worries of urban life. “This doesn’t happen in Brookfield,” said Christine Carpenter, 24, who works at a drugstore not far from the spa and on Sunday evening was still trying to grasp what had happened. “You think good neighborhood, good schools — this stuff doesn’t happen to us.”

In fact, however, in recent years in the Milwaukee suburbs, there have been other such attacks, including a shooting less than three months ago in which a self-proclaimed white supremacist named Wade M. Page opened fire in a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. In 2005, here in Brookfield, less than a mile away from the day spa, a gunman killed seven people, including two teenage boys, at an evangelical church meeting, and later killed himself.

The shooting, the authorities said, began shortly after 11 a.m. Central time, sending staff members and barefoot clients fleeing into parking lots and businesses. Witnesses described a panicked scene of bloodied women and confused passers-by who, at least initially, could not understand what had occurred, even as at least one person was seen crying, according to witnesses, and screaming out to passing cars.

“Everybody was keeping calm, but we were all confused about what was going on,” said Joe Brent, 27, of Minneapolis who said he had been in a McDonald’s next door to the spa when he heard a gunshot. Almost immediately, said Mr. Brent, who was in town for a job interview, a police officer entered the restaurant and ordered everyone out.

As he was leaving the McDonald’s, he said, he saw a woman in her 20s leaving the salon, holding a paper towel to her bleeding neck as a police officer escorted her to an ambulance.

“It was pretty bad,” Mr. Brent said. “I was surprised that she was able to walk.”

He said he then saw officers carry two more women from the salon and put them on stretchers, he said.

Four women — between 22 and 40 years old — were treated for gunshot wounds at Froedtert Hospital, officials at the hospital said. Several had undergone surgery or were expected to soon, the officials said.

As the authorities carried victims away, Police Chief Daniel K. Tushaus said, they faced another problem: they were uncertain where the gunman was, and came upon something that initially appeared to be an improvised explosive device inside the spa — presumably left by the gunman.

The possibility that the gunman might still be loose set off new chaos, leading the authorities at the hospital where victims were being treated to put the entire facility on lockdown, preventing routine visitors from even entering the building. For hours, highway exits near the spa were closed down, some stores in the nearby mall were shut, and police officers from around the region all but filled the area.

In another Milwaukee suburb, Brown Deer, where Mr. Haughton lived, the police cordoned off a section of his neighborhood, sending residents from their homes, and checked his home with bomb-detection equipment. Neighbors said they had watched the police use a battering ram to burst through the front door and garage of his home, after shouting instructions for him to emerge. No explosives were found.

The events left many in the community reeling. “We don’t even lock our doors around here,” said Daniel Montenero, a neighbor of Mr. Haughton. “There is no crime here. I walk my 2-year-old grandson past that house twice a day.”

Steven C. Rinzel, the police chief in Brown Deer, said the authorities had handled domestic disturbances at the home before. And police and court records showed a series of escalating troubles in recent days. On Oct. 4, the Brookfield police said they had responded to a report that Mr. Haughton had slashed the tires of his wife, who they were not identifying. Four days later, records show, she sought a temporary restraining order against him. As recently as last week, the records showed, he had been ordered to stay away for four years, and prohibited from possessing firearms.

When the authorities first entered the spa, they came upon smoke, the result of a small fire that Chief Tushaus said was believed to have been set by the gunman. A sprinkler system was going off, and nearby was evidence of a propane tank, at least initially suggesting that an explosion was intended.

By late Sunday, the circumstances seemed less certain, but for hours during the afternoon, the authorities raced to find Mr. Haughton, issuing his image to news outlets and asking the public to look for the car he owned.

“We were expecting an armed encounter if we did come across him,” Chief Tushaus said.

It was late in the day, more than five hours after the shooting, when police officers found his body inside the spa, a large, two-story facility with numerous rooms.

Steven Yaccino reported from Brookfield, Wis., and Monica Davey from Chicago. Michael Schwirtz and Marc Santora contributed reporting from New York.
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