February 21, 2024

A retired judge was shot and killed at his Wisconsin home early Friday morning by a gunman with a purported list targeting several judicial members, along with Michigan’s governor, authorities said.

Deputies responded to reports of an armed suspect who had fired two shots in the New Lisbon home around 6:30 a.m, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Deputies initially engaged in a standoff which lasted nearly four hours before a SWAT team entered the home and found the 68-year-old judge dead, the DOJ said. He was identified Saturday as 68-year-old John Roemer, a retired Juneau County judge.

The suspect, a 56-year-old man, was found in the basement of the home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition. A gun was recovered at the scene.

In a news conference Friday afternoon in the nearby town of Mauston, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said the shooting was a “targeted act” based on “some sort of court case or court cases.”

“The individual who is the suspect appears to have had other targets as well,” Kaul said. “It appears to be related to the judicial system.”

The other possible targets have been notified, Kaul said. Also allegedly on the hit list was Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Zach Pohl, Whitmer’s deputy chief of staff, said her office was notified that her name appeared “on the Wisconsin gunman’s list,” but declined to give details about the suspect.

“Governor Whitmer has demonstrated repeatedly that she is tough, and she will not be bullied or intimidated from doing her job and working across the aisle to get things done for the people of Michigan,” Pohl said.

“We’re not aware of any active threat to individuals,” he said.

The gunman’s name was not immediately released. No specific details were provided on a motive, or whether the gunman had a criminal record. The FBI and the Wisconsin State Crime Lab are assisting in the investigation.

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