Wheeler News Service Published Wednesday, October 10, 2007
For the first time Tuesday authorities started to explain what happened in the 12 hours after Tyler Peterson killed six young people in Crandon.
J.B. Van Hollen, state Attorney General, said his office was waiting for forensic test results to fill in all the gaps.
But after he fled the murder scene at 2:47 a.m. Sunday, shooting at a Crandon officer on the way out, the 20-year-old sheriff’s deputy drove aimlessly around the region.
Peterson called police several times to try and throw them off.
Then at 7:30 a.m. he went to the home of his friend Mike Kegley and confessed.
He then left to see his mother and grandmother and he went back to Kegley’s house at 9 a.m. where the sheriff and district attorney spoke to him and he took a nap in his pick-up truck.
A flurry of law enforcement arrived about 12 minutes later.
Media reports said residents in the town of Argonne knew right away a killer was in their midst and many hid in nearby homes.
One said he was expecting an alert on TV, but it never showed up.
Finally about 2 p.m., Peterson shot and killed himself in a nearby wooded area, as the officers closed in. He suffered four gunshot wounds.
There’s been lots of speculation that officers waited too long to respond.
Forest County officials have refused to release 911 tapes and arrest logs – both of which are public records by state law – but Van Hollen says the 911 calls will be released in a day or two.
Survivor now fair
The lone survivor shooting keeps getting better.
Charlie Neitzel, 21, has been upgraded to fair condition at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield. He was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday to remove debris from his gunshot wounds.
N eitzel was one of seven people Tyler Peterson shot at the home of his girlfriend, Jordanne Murray.
Van Hollen said Neitzel tried to reason with Peterson in the kitchen, but he was shot in the leg. He kept pleading as he was shot two more times.
Van Hollen said Neitzel then played dead, as the victim’s mother confirmed on Monday, and Peterson only stopped shooting after that.
Last night, a candlelight vigil was held in Rhinelander. And in Washington, the U.S. House observed a moment of silence Tuesday for the Crandon victims.
Schools in Crandon are reopening today (Wednesday) for the first since Sunday’s shootings.
Richard Peters, superintendent, says teachers cannot just go back to the ABC’s right away.
Tuesday, they met with counselors to get tips on how to interact with a shaken student body.
Peters calls it “un-chartered territory.” He says a letter will be sent home to parents with tips for handling their children’s grief.
The schools were hit especially hard by the tragedy, because all the victims were either going there or had graduated from there.
Two staff members lost children in the massacre and one lost a grandchild.
Peters says students will be hit with reminders of what they did with people who are no longer with us.
He said they’ll have to create, “a new normal.”
The Crandon slayings have drawn worldwide attention. Peters said he turned down an invitation from Doctor Phil to be on the psychologist’s TV show.