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UPDATED: Victims in Wis. Spa Shooting Identified

Suspect, estranged husband of spa employee, found dead of self-inflicted wound following Sunday morning shooting near mall at Milwaukee suburb.

Last updated at 12:30 p.m. Monday

Brookfield, WI — Four people were killed and four others injured Sunday morning at a mass shooting at the Azana Salon & Spa across the street from the Brookfield Square mall. 

Among the dead is the man police say was the shooter, 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton of Brown Deer. His body was found inside a locked room in the spa, 200 N. Moorland Rd., Brookfield Police Chief Dan Tushaus said.

Tushaus said Haughton was the only suspect in the shootings.

The Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the three victims as Cary L. Robuck, 35, of Racine; Zina Haughton, 42, of Brown Deer; and Maelyn M. Lind, 38, of Oconomowoc.

The medical examiner’s office is conducting autopsies on the three victims, as well as on Haughton.

Police released limited on Sunday information on the three who were killed and found dead inside the spa other than that they were all female. However, Today's TMJ4 is reporting that one of the deceased is Haughton's estranged wife, who worked at the spa.

An Oconomowoc woman told Patch late Sunday night that her 38-year-old daughter was one of the three who died. She said her daughter, who was working at the spa Sunday morning, has four children and one grandson who was born in late August.

The third person who died is believed to be a woman who was the mother of two cheerleaders at Racine Horlick High School. Students throughout Racine are all planning to wear purple Monday to support the two students.

Haughton's estranged wife had obtained a four-year restraining order against him on Thursday, after he was arrested for allegedly slashing her car tires in the Azana parking lot on Oct. 4, Tushaus said at a 6:30 p.m. press conference at the Brookfield Public Safety Building. A spa employee earlier Sunday had told Patch the spa also recently had put signs on all but its main door telling employees to keep other doors locked until further notice.

The four injured — all women — were being treated at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa and are expected to survive, the hospital said. Three had surgery and the other was admitted with injuries that did not require surgery. As of 7 a.m. Monday, the hospital said one was in critical condition and three were in satisfactory condition.

Tushaus said the ages of the injured were 22, 30, 32 and 40.

RELATED COVERAGE:

  • Racine mom believed to be one of the victims
  • Who is Radcliffe Haughton?
  • Shooter's dad says his son was "a good person"
  • Victims crawled, fled to safety, witnesses say
  • Reaction to Brookfield spa shooting
  • Shooting an unwelcome flashback for Sikh Temple members
  • Photo gallery from the shooting

He said authorities are still trying to positively identify the deceased inside the salon, other than the shooter, and did not offer any details on them. Brookfield's full-time police social worker was at the hospital, helping the victims and their families.

In addition to the four women rushed to Froedtert, another 10 to 12 employees and customers were rescued from the spa, Tushaus said.

A spa employee told Patch one of the women injured was a front desk employee who was pregnant and believed to be due in January. That woman was shot in the neck or shoulder area, but her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, the employee said.

Tushaus said police believe Haughton took a taxi to Azana Sunday morning. His car at one point was sought by police, who put out a photo of a 2003 Mazda Protege and license plate when it was unknown if Haughton had fled or was inside the spa. But his car was found outside the city limits, police said.

Complicating the rescue was smoke in the building, coming from a small fire police believe Haughton started in a spa hallway with a flammable liquid. The fire set off the business' sprinkling system. A one-pound propane tank was located near the area of the fire, but it was not known whether the suspect had brought the propane tank or if it had been left behind by contractors recently working in the spa.

"We believe this incident was domestic violence related," Tushaus said.

Haughton was arrested, then released

The couple lived in Brown Deer, and police there arrested Haughton either on Oct. 4 for tire-slashing or the following day for domestic violence criminal damage to property. He was booked and released, with a referral for charges sent to the Waukesha County District Attorney's office. No charges had been filed as of Sunday.

On Oct. 8, a temporary restraining order was issued against Haughton, and on Oct. 11 a copy was delivered to Haughton. All of his weapons were supposed to be turned over to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department as a condition of the order. Haughton was a former Marine, according to multiple reports.

A spa employee who spoke to Patch said Haughton was out of work and his wife had been working every day straight for the past month to bring in money to pay the bills. However, she recently decided to leave him, and that's when the problems started.

"(She) cut my hair recently and she told me she had left her husband," the employee said. "I told her I was sorry she was going through that."

The couple has two daughters, ages 12 and 21, the Azana employee told Patch. The 21-year-old daughter worked at the salon in a housekeeping position, the employee said.

The Brown Deer School District posted on all school websites a message that said:

"The Brown Deer School Community is deeply saddened by the unexpected and tragic situation that occurred (Sunday) at the Azana Salon in Brookfield. This incident has touched one of our school families, and our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends as they deal with this difficult situation."

Tatiana Haughton is a student at Brown Deer Middle School. The message goes on to say that the district's crisis team would be available to provide counseling.

Several witnesses said a woman fled the spa screaming that her mother had been shot. It was not known Sunday whether the woman was the 21-year-old talking about her mother who had obtained the restraining order.

Azana owner Tami Gemmell issued a statement asking for prayers for the victims and their families. "We are devastated by this tragedy and remain in shock over how this could have happened," Gemmell said.

"Please know that our first concern is for the victims and their families, and for our Azana family. We are grieving over the loss of our colleagues, their families and we are praying for those who are still fighting for their survival."

Bomb squad called to scene

The incident happened about 11 a.m. right as the salon opened and the call came in at 11:09 a.m., Tushaus said. There were at least 15 ambulances on the scene from multiple jurisdictions as far west as Delafield, in addition to the Flight For Life helicopters. Moorland Road, which runs along Brookfield Square  mall, was closed.

Tactical units entered the spa and police initially believed there was an improvised explosive device (IED) inside the building, which complicated the process of clearing the spa. Just before 3:30 p.m, police began carrying furniture out of the spa. Individuals were being allowed to go to their cars unescorted in the east parking lot of Brookfield Square, facing the spa.

It turned out that a propane tank left in the building was not an IED, and police said it was unclear Sunday whether it had been left by Haughton or by construction crews doing work in the building.

A bomb squad robot was moving toward Haughton's Brown Deer home just after 4 p.m. and authorites remained on the scene as of 5 p.m. Brown Deer Police Chief Steven Rinzel told JSOnline.com that no explosives were found.

For much of the day, authorities did not know the whereabouts of Haughton. As a result, both Froedtert Hospital and nearby Children's Hospital were put on lockdown. By 4:30 p.m., however, both hospitals were allowing patients and employees to come and go.

Obama, Walker react

President Barack Obama was informed of the salon shooting by his advisor for Homeland Security, John Brennan. He also received a follow-up briefing from FBI Director Bob Mueller and Chief of Staff Jack Lew.

Obama was told the shooting did not appear to be terrorism-related, and he  instructed the FBI to ensure that the state and local officials had the full support of the federal government, according to a statement from the White House.

The president and first lady also indicated their thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the shooting and their families.

The same sentiments were echoed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

"(First Lady) Tonette and I send our thoughts and prayers to the victims.," the governor said in a statement. "Senseless acts of violence leave us with heavy hearts and many questions.  Our state will stand with the victims and their families, and we will provide them with the law enforcement and community support they need to heal in the coming days."

Brookfield mayor in church when notified

Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto told Patch on Sunday evening: "All of us are relieved that the matter has been brought to a resolution."

"It's a tragic thing," he added. "With something like this, it's a bizarre instance and you can't really prevent it, but you can be prepared for it, and I think we were prepared for it. I really appreciate the level of cooperation that we’ve gotten from police of neighboring communities, Milwaukee county and city and the FBI."

Ponto and his wife were attending church services when he started getting phone messages from his two daughters. He ignored them, assuming they were calling about their plans to meet for lunch in Milwaukee's Third Ward. Once he got outside after church had ended, he checked his messages and learned abou the shooting.

Then began a flurry of contacts with Chief Tushaus and Assistant Chief Dean Collins who told Ponto to meet as planned for lunch before heading to a press conference in Brookfield.

"The waitress brought me the (television) remote so that I could turn up the volume whenever there was an update," the mayor said. He said even before Sunday's tragedy, the Brookfield Police Department has been preparing to hold "a special seminar... talking about security of religious facilities. We just want to be proactive and prepared for these kinds of things but sadly you can’t prevent them."

Brookfield has the second Sikh temple in the Milwaukee area — the Oak Creek one was the site of a shooting rampage just 11 weeks ago. Brookfield also has approved construction of a mosque, although a planned fall groundbreaking may not occur until March, a leader told Patch Satuday.

On Aug. 5, Wade Michael Page opened fire at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, killing six people and injuring four more, including Oak Creek police Lt. Brian Murphy. Family members of the victims from that shooting were on the scene, consoling victims, according to published reports. There also was a candlelight vigil in the memory of the victims held Sunday night at the temple.

The Brookfield Police Department is familiar with mass shooting incidents. In 2005, Terry Ratzmann opened fire during a Living Church of God worship service at the Sheraton Hotel, killing seven before turning the gun on himself. That hotel is just almost directly across the street from Azana Spa.

Domestic abuse victims urged to call hotline

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence said Sunday's mass shooting underscores the need for greater resources to combat domestic violence.

"This display of horrendous violence in a public place should call all of our attention to the violence and terror that many in Wisconsin live with behind closed doors every day — and to the need to address domestic violence," said Patti Seger, executive director of the WCADV.

"At the state and community-level, we must dedicate resources and resolve that matches the courage of victims," she said.

She urged anyone suffering from domestic violence to get help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1−800−799−SAFE). "They do not have to face abuse, fear and anxiety alone," Seger said.

Patch editors Jim Price, Mark Maley and Matthew Schroeder contributed to this report.

Bruce Harvey October 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Hey come on, He was only exercising his 2nd amendment rights!!! Remember guns don't kill (per the NRA). When will we learn? Good people go bad! & guns do KILL---just ask the people in the salon---OH wait---you can't---they're DEAD!
Wayne October 23, 2012 at 06:50 PM
So we make guns illegal then the common lawful citizen does not have a way to protect themselves against the criminals who have illegal weapons, good plan Bruce. Start taking our freedoms away and give the government more control, oh sure, trust the government they must know what is good for us, they are the government, like they have been programming us since we were born. People like you are why this country is suffering they way it is, you can't see outside of the rose colored glasses you have on.

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