A former judge was killed in his Wisconsin home in a targeted attack, officials say
By Whitney Wild, CNN
(CNN) -- A former Wisconsin judge was killed Friday in what authorities are calling a targeted attack by a suspect who also had other government officials as targets, a source familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Former Juneau County Circuit Court Judge John Roemer, 68, was killed in a New Lisbon, Wisconsin, home, the Wisconsin Justice Department said in a statement. The killing stems from a court case or cases, the department explained, but did not give further details.
The suspect was identified as Douglas K. Uhde. Authorities attempted to negotiate with the suspect while he was in the home, the state's DOJ said. The Juneau County Special Tactics and Response Team entered the home shortly before 10:20 a.m. and found the suspect in the basement of the home with an "apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," the state's justice department said. Uhde, 56, was taken to a medical facility and remains in critical condition, the department said Saturday.
A firearm was recovered at the scene, the DOJ said.
CNN reviewed online Wisconsin Circuit Court records showing Uhde has a criminal history in the state dating back to at least 2002, when he was convicted of armed burglary and firearms charges. The case appears to have dragged on for several years, and at one point in 2005, came before Roemer.
Uhde had charges in 2006 and 2007, including fleeing police and a misdemeanor for obstructing an officer, that led to convictions, online records show. He also brought a civil lawsuit in federal court against several law enforcement defendants over what he claimed were illegalities in the search regarding a 2001 arrest, according to online court records. CNN was not able to determine the outcome of the lawsuit.
Uhde has not been charged in relation to the judge's killing. CNN was not able to determine if he has a lawyer.
"Judge Roemer dedicated much of his career to public service in the law," Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler said in a statement. "Before taking the bench in 2004, he had served as an assistant district attorney and as an assistant state public defender. He was known by colleagues for his sharp legal mind and his willingness to share his time and knowledge with others."
Suspect had other targets in mind
The suspect had other targets in mind -- including Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the source told CNN. Another source corroborated the officials' names to CNN.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office said on Saturday her name also appeared on the gunman's list of targets.
"Yesterday our office was notified by law enforcement officials that Governor Whitmer's name appeared on the Wisconsin gunman's list. While the news reports are deeply troubling, we will not comment further on an ongoing criminal investigation," Whitmer's office said.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported the judge was the victim and Evers had also been a target.
"This as I mentioned before does appear to be a targeted act and the individual who is a suspect appears to have had other targets as well. It appears to be related to the judicial system," Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said Friday in a news conference, stopping short of naming the victim.
Kaul added investigators are not aware of any evidence pointing to danger for other people, noting the probe is ongoing.
"Those who may have been other targets have been notified of that, but we are not aware of any active threat to individuals," he said. "If we become aware of any specific ongoing threat, we will certainly notify people when we are aware of that."
CNN has reached out to Gov. Evers' office, McConnell's office, the US Capitol Police, the Juneau County Sheriff's Office and the Wisconsin Justice Department.
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