By DAVE KOLPACK and MIKE BALSAMO, Associated Press
A gunman suspected of fatally shooting a retired county judge at a Wisconsin home had a list that included Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers , Whitmer’s office and a law enforcement source said Saturday.
Douglas K. Uhde, 56, who has not been charged, is suspected of killing retired Juneau County Judge John Roemer on Friday at Roemer’s home in New Lisbon, the Justice Department said Saturday. of Wisconsin in a press release.
Uhde was found in the basement of the house with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, following police attempts to negotiate with him. Uhde is hospitalized in critical condition, DOJ officials said.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said Friday the shooting appeared to be a “targeted act” and that the shooter selected people who were “part of the justice system.”
But investigators believe the shooter may also have planned to target other government officials and found a list in his vehicle containing the names of several other high-profile elected leaders, a law enforcement official said. . Other targets on the list, which mentioned Roemer, included Evers, McConnell and Whitmer, the official said.
Roemer was found tied to a chair in his home and was shot and killed, the official said. The official could not publicly discuss details of the investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Uhde has a lengthy criminal and prison record dating back at least two decades, including a case where he was sentenced by Roemer to six years in prison for weapons. He was released from his last stint in prison in April 2020.
Zach Pohl, Whitmer’s deputy chief of staff, said his office was notified that his name was “on the Wisconsin shooter list.”
“Governor Whitmer has repeatedly demonstrated that she is tough and will not be bullied or intimidated by doing her job and working across the aisle to get things done for the people of Michigan. “Pohl said.
Whitmer became the focus of protests and criticism after accusing former President Donald Trump of stoking anger over COVID-19 restrictions and refusing to condemn right-wing extremists.
A trial earlier this year in which four men were charged with an alleged kidnapping plot by the Michigan Democrat resulted in the acquittal of two of the 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 sense of humor who will be sorely missed” by the community, said Chip Wilke, pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mauston, where Roemer was president of the congregational and evangelism president. “He was in my office several mornings a week.”
Wilke said after being informed of Roemer’s death on Friday, the pastor’s thought was “I’m glad we have Jesus and know where he is.”
Roemer retired from the bench in 2017. He was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2010 and 2016. He previously served as an assistant district attorney for Juneau County and an assistant state public defender. He also worked in private practice and served as a lieutenant colonel for the U.S. Army Reserves.
Investigators said there was no immediate danger to the public.
“The information that was collected indicated that this was a targeted act and that the targeting was based on some kind of court case or court cases,” Kaul said.
The Juneau County Sheriff’s Office received a call that two shots were fired at a New Lisbon home at 6:30 a.m. Friday, according to the Criminal Investigations Division. The caller had run away from home and made the call from another nearby house.
Donna Voss, a neighbor, told The Associated Press she heard law enforcement on a loudspeaker telling the man to turn himself in and leave the house.
For Voss, the shooting came as a shock in a generally quiet neighborhood where homes sit alongside farmland and woodland, about 130 miles northwest of Madison.
“It’s amazing and really weird,” she said.
New Lisbon, home to approximately 2,500 residents, is located in Juneau County in central Wisconsin.
Kolpack reported from Fargo, North Dakota. Balsamo brought from Washington, DC
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