Former Judge Gunned Down in Wisconsin by Man With ‘Hit List’

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Scott Olson/Getty
Scott Olson/Getty

A former judge was shot and killed Friday in Wisconsin by a man who had a list of other targets “related to the judicial system,” authorities said.

Police were tight-lipped on unconfirmed reports the gunman belonged to a militia, and that the list also included Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. The victim, identified only as a “68-year-old male,” has yet to be named.

But Attorney General Josh Kaul confirmed at an afternoon press conference that the gunman had apparently set his sights on others involved in the court system.

The “targeted” killing occurred at around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning at a home in the town of New Lisbon in Juneau County, Kaul told reporters. Alerted to reports of gunshots in the area, deputies with the Juneau County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the home and unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate with the suspect inside, after which tactical units entered. They discovered the homeowner slain, and a “56-year-old male located in the basement, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Kaul said.

The gunman has not yet been identified, with Kaul stressing that the investigation is “ongoing.”

“This does appear to be a targeted act, and the individual who’s a suspect appears to have had other targets as well, it appears to be related to the judicial system,” Kaul told reporters.

The accused gunman is said to be hospitalized in critical condition.

Authorities declined to give further details on reports of a hit list, with Kaul saying only that investigators think “the targeting was based on some sort of court case or court cases.” It was not immediately clear how many other people were included on the list of targets, or if the gunman acted alone. Police said all those thought to be in danger had been notified and were safe.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation is now leading the probe.

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