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Monday, November 28, 2022

Wisconsin gunmen target Tony Evers, Gretchen Whitmer and Mitch McConnell, sources say

Wisconsin gunmen target Tony Evers, Gretchen Whitmer and Mitch McConnell, sources say

A gunman suspected of fatally shooting a retired county judge at a Wisconsin home included Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Whitmer’s office and law enforcement sources said.

On March 17, 2020, Douglas K. Uhde, photo. (Wisconsin Department of Corrections via Associated Press)

56-year-old Douglas K. Uhde, who has not been charged, is suspected of murdering retired Juno County Judge John Romer at Romer’s home in New Lisbon on Friday, the Wisconsin Justice Department said in a news release Saturday.

After attempts by the police to negotiate with him, Uhde found himself in the basement of the house with bullet wounds. DOJ officials said that Uhde has been admitted to the hospital in a serious condition.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said Friday that the shooting appeared to be a “targeted act” and that the gunman had selected targets that were “part of the judicial system.”

But investigators believe the gunman may have also planned to target other government officials and found a list in his vehicle that contained the names of several other prominent elected leaders, a law enforcement official said. Other targets on the list, which Romer mentions, include Evers, McConnell and Whitmer, the official said.

The officer said Roemer was found tied to a chair in his home and was fatally shot. Officials could not discuss the details of the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Uhde has an extensive criminal and prison record dating back at least two decades, including a case when he was sentenced by Romer to six years in prison for weapons charges. He was released from his last prison term in April 2020.

Whitmer’s deputy chief of staff Zach Pohl said his office was informed that his name was “on the list of Wisconsin gunmen.”

“Governor Whitmer has demonstrated time and again that she is tough, and will not be bullied or bullied into doing her job and working in the aisle to work for the people of Michigan,” Pohl said.

Whitmer became the subject of protests and criticism after she blamed former President Donald Trump for inciting anger over COVID-19 restrictions and refusing to condemn right-wing extremists.

A trial held earlier this year in which four men were charged with conspiracy to allegedly kidnap a Michigan Democrat resulted in the acquittal of two men. The jury could not reach a unanimous verdict for the other two.

Roemer, 68, was a “very loving, very encouraging man, with a wonderful humour, who will be greatly missed by the community”, said Chip Wilke, pastor of St Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Moston, where Romer The president was the congregation and evangelism president. “He was in my office several mornings a week.”

Wilke said Friday that the pastor’s view was “I’m glad we have Jesus and we know where he is,” Wilke said after hearing of Roemer’s death.

Romer retired from the bench in 2017. He was first elected in 2004 and was re-elected in 2010 and 2016. He previously served as an Assistant District Attorney and an Assistant State Public Protector for Juneau County. He also worked in private practice and served as a lieutenant colonel for the US Army Reserves.

Investigators said there was no immediate danger to the public.

“The information gathered indicates that it was a targeted act and the target was based on some kind of court case or court cases,” Kaul said.

According to the Division of Criminal Investigation, 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. The caller had run away from home and had called from another house nearby.

A neighbor Donna Voss told The Associated Press she heard law enforcement over loudspeakers asking the man to surrender and leave the house. That and public records said the house belonged to Romer.

The Division of Criminal Investigation said in a news release that outside officers tried to negotiate with the gunman and eventually entered the house after 10 a.m. – Old man with wounds to shoot himself in the basement. He was taken to a medical facility.

Kaul said the condition of the suspect was critical.

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

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

New Lisbon, which has a population of about 2,500 people, is in Juno County, central Wisconsin.

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Kolpak reported from Fargo, North Dakota. Balsamo reported from Washington, DC

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