Law enforcement officials in Wisconsin say the suspect who allegedly shot and killed a retired judge in his home had a hit list including multiple political figures.
Police in New Lisbon responded to a 911 call Friday morning reporting an armed intruder fired two shots in the residence. When the tactical unit arrived, they tried to no avail to negotiate with the suspect before he apparently turned the gun on himself.
The caller left the home to summon police, who say the call came in at 6:30 a.m. Several attempts were made to negotiate with the shooter, and police and SWAT did not enter until 10:15 a.m.
The unidentified 56-year-old gunman is listed in critical condition at a local hospital and the homeowner, 68-year old Juneau County Judge John Roemer, was killed. He had been zip-tied to a chair and shot.
Roemer spent 14 years as a circuit court judge after serving as assistant district attorney. He was also in the U.S. Army Reserves.
When law enforcement searched the suspect’s car, they found an ominous list with over a dozen names. On it are Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.
Whitmer’s office said the news of her name appearing on the list is “troubling” but would not comment further due to the ongoing investigation. Two men accused of plotting to kidnap the governor because they were angry with her COVID-19 restrictions were acquitted in April.
Police say the attack on Roemer appears to be “targeted” based on one or more court cases. All the politicians on the list have been notified, and authorities say agencies are unaware of an active threat to anyone listed.
A local news station reported that the suspect is a militia member. The Wisconsin Department of Justice and local authorities are investigating. One area they are looking into is if this incident is tied to any others, and the case is being handled as possible domestic terrorism.
U.S. Marshals say there were over 4,500 threats or “inappropriate communications” with those protected last year alone. That list includes federal judges.