The Wisconsin spa shootings: What we know so far
Police say Radcliffe Haughton shot up his estranged wife's place of employment, killing three women and then himself
Late Sunday morning, a gunman walked into the Azana Salon and Spa in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield, strolled past the receptionist, and started shooting, killing three women and wounding four others before locking himself in a room and shooting himself, police say. The alleged lone gunman, Radcliffe Haughton, was apparently targeting his wife, Zina, who worked at the salon and who, on Oct. 18, had secured a four-year restraining order against her husband. The police haven't released the names of any of the victims. Here's what we do know about the Milwaukee area's second mass shooting this year:
What happened at the spa?According to Brookfield Police Chief Daniel Tushaus and newspaper accounts, Haughton arrived at the spa in a taxi at about 11 a.m., carrying a handgun and a backpack. He walked into the sizable two-story building, shot his victims, set a fire inside the spa, then killed himself. One passing motorist said that as the police were arriving the shooter ran outside waving a handgun, in pursuit of a fleeing woman, then retreated inside when he saw the cops. It took police until 4 p.m. to find Haughton's body, since the 9,000-square-foot spa is carved up into little rooms and they were expecting the gunman to be alive. A bomb squad was also called in; either Haughton or spa contractors had brought a small propane tank into the building, but the automatic sprinklers got the fire under control before it exploded.
What do we know about the victims?Not much. All seven are women, and the four who were wounded — ages 22, 30, 32, and 40 — are all expected to survive: One arrived at the hospital in critical condition, two had wounds in their extremities, and one did not need surgery. Zina Haughton, a personable hairstylist who'd worked at Azana for at least six years, was the apparent target of the rampage, but police didn't say if she was among the victims.
What do we know about the shooter?Haughton, 45, was a former Marine who later worked as a manager at luxury-car dealerships. According to neighbors of the Haughtons in the northern suburb of Brown Deer, the couple had some big fights, sometimes violent ones. "In my son's words, 'It is real messed up over there,'" neighbor Daniel Montenero, 58, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, adding that his son is friends with one of the Haughtons' two daughters. On Oct. 4, Zina Haughton said Radcliffe had slashed her tires at the salon, and four days later she got a temporary restraining order against him. On Oct. 8, Radcliffe wrote on his Facebook page, "Need to get out of Wisconsin, HELP...." When the four-year restraining order was handed down, he called his father in Florida. "I told him, 'Whatever you do, don't do anything stupid,'" the father, also named Radcliffe Haughton, told the Journal Sentinel. "I told him, 'If you need a place to stay, come by me.'"
Is there any connection with the nearby Sikh temple shooting?No. This is actually the third Sunday mass shooting in the Milwaukee area in seven years, although the motives are different for all three. In the Aug. 5 shooting spree at the Oak Creek, Wis., Sikh temple, white nationalist Wade Michael Page didn't know any of his Sikh victims, and was apparently motivated by racial-religious animus. In 2005, at a Brookfield hotel about half a mile from the Azana spa, Terry Ratzmann killed seven members of the evangelical Living Church of God congregation before shooting himself. There is one small tie-in with the Sikh temple shooting, though. After Pardeep Kaleka's father was killed by Page, he a became volunteer grief counselor with the Salvation Army. He was called in Sunday. Some of the people who survived the spa shooting told him about the gunshots they heard. "I told them they'd hear gunshots echoing for a long time," Kaleka tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.