In the wake of the Wausau area’s deadliest shooting, the community comes together
Hundreds of people gathered Sunday, March 26 on the wet grounds of Kennedy Park in Weston, trudging for blocks through the rain from the parking lots of Target and D.C. Everest High School, holding umbrellas, standing in puddles, and holding candles in somber silence.
Hundreds of people gathered Sunday in the rain at Kennedy Park in Weston for a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims of the March 22 shooting.
The vigil was held for the four victims of a shooting spree last Wednesday—a domestic incident that escalated into deadly violence at two local businesses and an apartment complex in Rothschild and Weston—that has rocked the community.
Sunday’s candlelight vigil was only one of many shows of support in the wake of the shooting that left three civilians and one Everest police officer dead.
That outpouring could be seen by numerous donations for the families of the victims: Marathon Savings Bank employees Dianne Look and Karen Barclay; attorney Sara Quirt Sann; and Det. Jason Weiland, an Everest Metropolitan Police detective killed while setting up a perimeter at the apartment building, the third of three shooting sites, where police arrested the suspect, 45-year-old Nengmy Vang. Court records show that Vang was going through a divorce. His next divorce proceedings court date scheduled is April 28. As of this Wednesday, charges for the shooting have not yet been filed.
The first emergency call came around 12:30 pm March 22. Police were called to the Marathon Savings Bank branch, in the Shopko plaza on Bus. Hwy. 51, for a domestic disturbance between Vang and his wife. Police did not make contact with the suspect at that first visit.
Police were called back around 1 pm after a caller from a nearby Subway restaurant reported that a woman said her husband was at Marathon Savings Bank and was trying to kill her. Police say Vang had shot two bank tellers, Dianne Look and Karen Barclay; Vang then went to the law office of Tlusty, Kennedy and Dirks, where he shot his wife’s attorney, Sara Quirt Sann.
Police then were called to an apartment complex on Aspen Street in Weston where Vang had holed up. Det. Weiland was shot there while setting up a perimeter. After a standoff with police, Vang was shot, taken into custody and treated at a local hospital. Police say they are unaware of his present condition.
Weiland was the first officer killed in Wisconsin this year, and the first killed in Marathon County since 1994, when sheriff’s deputy Jeffrey Sheets was shot while responding to an explosion reported on a property in rural Ringle. The offices of the Everest Metro Police Department have been flooded with offers of food, flowers and other offers of memorial for Weiland.
And since Wednesday, the Everest PD has been staffed by officers from other local law enforcement agencies, such as deputies of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office and Wausau Police Department. These agencies pitched in so Everest Metro officers could have time to cope with the loss of their colleague, says Sheriff Scott Parks. Agencies from outside the area have helped provide crime scene security at the shooting sites.
“You have been around us and realize how close the law enforcement family is,” Parks says. “We step up to help other agencies as they come to grip with the loss of one of their own.”
Those officers helped staff the Everest PD until after Weiland’s funeral service on Wednesday, Parks says.
Law enforcement officers from across the state and nation attended the funeral of Det. Jason Weiland, the Everest Metro police officer killed in the March 22 shooting.
Hundreds of officers, along with hundreds of community members, and family and friends of Weiland, attended his funeral March 29 at D.C. Everest High School. Police cars lined Alderson Street for roughly a quarter mile. Squad cars from as far away as Grand Rapids, Mich., Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Fargo, N.D. could be seen among the vehicles lined for the procession.
Hundreds residents also took to the procession route, congregating in places such as Kennedy Park, the Everest Metro Police Department, the Schofield dam, the intersection of Kent Street and Grand Avenue, and in much of the area near the Marathon County Courthouse in Wausau. An American flag was held aloft over Grand Avenue between two ladder trucks.