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Spokesman: Whitmer was on Wisconsin gunman's list of targets

Posted at 12:42 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 12:42:28-04

AP — A gunman who fatally shot a man at a Wisconsin home had a list of targets that included Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, her office said Saturday.

Attorney General Josh Kaul refused to name the victim of Friday's shooting, but it has been widely reported that he was retired Juneau County Judge John Roemer. The suspect was discovered in the basement with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in what appeared to be a plan to target people connected to the judicial system, Kaul said Friday.

Zach Pohl, Whitmer's deputy chief of staff, said her office was notified that her name appeared “on the Wisconsin gunman's list” but declined to give details about the suspect.

“Governor Whitmer has demonstrated repeatedly that she is tough, and she will not be bullied or intimidated from doing her job and working across the aisle to get things done for the people of Michigan," Pohl said.

A trial held earlier this year in which four men accused in an alleged kidnapping plot of the Michigan Democrat resulted in the acquittal of two of the men. The jury couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict for the other two.

Kaul's office did not respond to numerous phone and email messages Saturday.

Investigators don’t believe anyone else is at risk any longer, but an investigation involving the FBI and the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation is ongoing, Kaul said during a news conference Friday.

“The information that’s been gathered indicated that it was a targeted act and that the targeting was based on some sort of court case or court cases,” Kaul said.

The Juneau County Sheriff’s Office received a call that two shots were fired at a home in New Lisbon at 6:30 a.m. Friday, according to the Division of Criminal Investigation. The caller had fled the home and made the call from another nearby house.

Donna Voss, a neighbor, told The Associated Press that she said she heard law enforcement on a loudspeaker telling the man to surrender and leave the home. She and public records said the home belonged to Roemer.

The Division of Criminal Investigation said in a news release that officers outside tried to negotiate with the gunman and finally entered the home shortly after 10 a.m. The Juneau County Special Tactics and Response Team found the 68-year-old homeowner dead and a 56-year-old man in the basement with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was taken to a medical facility.

Kaul said the suspect was in critical condition.

For Voss, the shooting came as a shock in a usually quiet neighborhood where houses sit alongside farmland and wooded lots, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) northwest of Madison.

“It’s unbelievable and really freaky,” she said.

New Lisbon, which has a population of about 2,500 people, is in Juneau County in central Wisconsin. The town is about 150 miles (240 kilometers) west of Milwaukee.

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