KEWASKUM, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin sheriff’s office said Friday that a man who forced his way into two homes in the town of Kewaskum earlier this week fatally shot two men in their 70s with their own guns before he was killed in a shootout with a deputy.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said that on Wednesday afternoon, a 30-year-old West Bend man crashed a stolen car in the town of Kewaskum, then forced his way into a nearby unoccupied home. At the same time, a woman stopped at the accident to help, and the man physically assaulted her and tried to take her car, but crashed it in the driveway.
The man then ran to another house and forced himself inside through a locked door. He demanded car keys from an elderly couple, but when he was not able to get the car started he went back into their home and physically assaulted them. When he left the house again to try to steal the car, the 72-year-old man got a handgun for protection.
“Tragically, the suspect was able to overpower the victim and took control of the gun. He then fatally shot the 72-year-old male homeowner,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. The man then tried to shoot the wife, but the gun did not fire.
Sheriff’s officials say the man went to another home, where he found a shotgun and fatally shot a 77-year-old man just outside his garage.
The first deputies to arrive saw the man as he was leaving the area. Sheriff’s officials say a deputy and the man exchanged fire, and the man was shot by law enforcement.
“This horrific incident has struck this community and our agency at its core. We lost two valuable members of our community at the hands of this senseless crime spree,” Sheriff Martin Schulteis said in a statement.
Authorities said the man did not know his victims, and authorities did not release any names on Friday. The deputy who fired at the suspect has been with Washington County law enforcement for nine years and has been placed on administrative leave. He was not injured.
Schulteis said deputies never want to be placed in a position where they need to use deadly force, but he believes the deputy’s actions stopped further violence. He said the case will ultimately be sent to prosecutors to review.
“Our deputy’s actions ended a murderous rampage within our community,” he said.