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CHICAGO: Three people were killed and four other injured after a gunman burst into a day spa in the midwestern US state of Wisconsin and opened fire yesterday, police said.
The man also left behind what appears to be an improvised explosive device, which has prevented police from searching the entire two-story building, Brookfield police chief Daniel Tushaus told reporters.
An armed man burst into the spa where his estranged wife worked and shot at least seven, US media reported. Police told reporters a manhunt was under way for the suspect in the midday shooting in Brookfield, a suburb of Milwaukee.
At least four of the victims were not critically hurt, reports said.Television footage showed more than a dozen emergency vehicles in the parking lot of a shopping mall across the street from the spa, at least part of which has been evacuated. Tactical police teams were also on the scene.
The hospital treating the victims was on lockdown until the shooter is caught, a spokeswoman said. “We are not allowing any patients or visitors or staff members to enter or exit the hospital,” Nalissa Wienke of Froedtert hospital told MSNBC.
Police identified the suspect as Radcliffe Haughton, 45. TMJ4 news said police had surrounded his home in the nearby suburb of Brown Deer. His estranged wife had gotten a judge to issue an order of protection banning Haughton from contacting her and ordering him to hand in his guns, the station said.
“As we wait for further details from the shooting in Brookfield, Tonette and I send our thoughts and prayers to the victims,” Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said. “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.”
Witness Christopher Pfeiffer said he was on his way to a bookstore in the mall when he saw a young, barefoot woman running in the parking lot. “She was screaming, yelling, crying hysterical. She was pleading for help,” Pfeiffer, 47, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“She kept saying, ‘My mother was shot.’ And she mentioned that there was a gunman. She ran into the bookstore and I followed her. But I watched her from afar.”
David Gosh said he was on his way home from duck hunting when he saw a woman run out into the road screaming and pounding on cars. Then he saw a large man with a handgun chase after her, but luckily the police arrived with sirens blaring. Gosh said he saw the man run back into the building or possibly into the woods nearby.
“He was looking for an escape route,” Gosh said. Gosh’s father, John, said he saw two wounded women taken out of the two-storey Azana spa.