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I caught a news report that a resident from Minnesota, hunting deer in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, shot five people dead and wounded three others in a dispute over a tree stand. The alleged killer apparently occupied a tree stand on private property and when told to leave, responded with gunfire. He wounded two men initially, then shot rescuers when the wounded men radioed for help. The initial report was that he chased the rescue party through the woods and shot them over a one hundred yard area. He was armed with an SKS. Only one of the people shot had a rifle, one of the two men initially shot. Craziness over a deer stand. And of course the alleged perp had to be using an "Assault Rifle."
 

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Terry, this of course is extremely bad. Report is that the perp is a Vietnamese who may or not be able to speak English. News reports are focusing on the fight at the basketball game; perhaps it is good that they have this focus.

RIKA
 

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RIKA, Sing is not a Vietnamese name. I'm pretty sure he's H'mong from Cambodia. They have a large population in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area. If he's 36 like the news stated, he probably has been in this country for almost 30 years. (conjecture on my part) Anyway, certainly long enough to learn the language. Initial reports say only one of the victims was carrying a rifle.
 

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Suspect named in fatal hunter shootings
Sheriff: Man who fired was using deer stand on private property
Monday, November 22, 2004 Posted: 6:11 PM EST (2311 GMT)


Lynn Koob of Lakeview Hospital describes wounds during a news conference in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, Monday.



(CNN) -- The man who opened fire on a group of deer hunters in northwest Wisconsin, killing five and wounding three others, was using a deer stand on private property before the shooting began, Sawyer County Sheriff James Meier said Monday.

A suspect is in custody -- 36-year-old Chai Wang, of St. Paul, Minnesota -- but no formal charges have been filed against him, Meier told reporters.

"This is an incredible tragedy," Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle said. "One in which a great family tradition like a deer hunt has turned into such a great loss for the families involved. The whole state of Wisconsin feels the deepest sympathy and pain."

The shootings occurred Sunday in Sawyer County after a hunter returning to a rural cabin saw a man in a deer stand, a platform built in a tree to give hunters a better view, on private property. The hunter radioed someone to ask about the man's presence there.

Meier said the man had apparently been hunting, gotten lost and stopped a couple of hunters to ask for directions. He wandered onto 400 acres of private land.

The other hunter "approached the person and asked him to leave, at which time the landowners and the occupants of the cabin came on the scene. The suspect got down from the deer stand, walked approximately 40 yards, fiddled with his rifle in some way ... turned and opened fire on the group," Meier said.

When other hunters appeared on the scene, they also were hit by gunfire, Meier said. Some of the people suffered multiple gunshot wounds. The shooter used an SKS 7.62 mm assault rifle, the sheriff said.

Two bodies were found near each other, and the others were found over an area of about 100 yards, he said.

The dead were identified Monday as Robert Crotteau, 42, and his son, Joey Crotteau, 20; Al Laski, 43; Mark Roidt, 28; and Jessica Willers, 27, the daughter of Terry Willers who was wounded.

Terry Willers was taken to a clinic in nearby Marshfield with a neck and shoulder wound, and was said to be doing well.

Denny Drew was in critical condition Monday with an abdominal wound and extensive injuries to his large and small intestines, and pancreas. He had a three-hour operation Sunday and was improving, said Dr. Lynn Koob, a surgeon at Lakeview Medical Center.

Lauren Hesebeck is also at Lakeview with a gunshot wound to the shoulder and arm.

After the shootings, the man got lost again and was led from the woods by two hunters who were unaware of the incident. A Department of Natural Resources officer recognized the deer license on his back from a description given by one of the shooting victims, said Chief Deputy Tim Zeigle of the Sawyer County Sheriff's Department.

"We were very thankful to take him into custody. No one else got hurt," Zeigle said. "When he was taken into custody, his gun was empty."

The killings have stunned Exeland, a village of 219 people about 135 miles northeast of Minneapolis.

Barron County Sheriff Tom Richie said the victims "Are all well-known, well-respected members of the community."

The five who died were from the Rice Lake area near Birchwood. A Rice Lake Hunters Survivors and Victims Fund has been set up.

Saturday was the opening of the nine-day deer season.
 
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