'Jealous' policeman murders pizza party youngsters

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The Independent US

An off-duty deputy sheriff deputy went on a shooting rampage at a home where seven young people had gathered for pizza and movies, killing six and critically injuring the other before authorities shot him dead.

Tyler Peterson, 20, was a Forest County deputy in Wisconsin working part-time as a police officer, said Crandon police chief John Dennee.

Three of the victims were pupils at the high school in the small northern Wisconsin town, and three were recent graduates, a school chief said. The gunman is believed to have graduated from the same high school.

Peterson was not working at the time of the shooting yesterday, Sheriff Keith Van Cleve said.

The survivor was taken to hospital, Dennee said. A Crandon police officer who fired back was treated for minor injuries and released.

Gary Bradley, mayor of the city of about 2,000, said earlier that the suspect had been brought down by a sniper, but Van Cleve would not confirm that officers shot the suspect.

It was not immediately clear what the gunman's motive was, but the mother of a 14-year-old victim said the suspect may have been a jealous boyfriend.

The shooting happened a street away from downtown Crandon.

"It was a pizza and movie party," Dennee said.

Three of the victims were Crandon High School pupils, said schools superintendent Richard Peters, and the other three had graduated within the past three years.

Classes were cancelled for today in the town, about 225 miles north of Milwaukee in an area known for logging and outdoor activities.

"There is probably nobody in Crandon who is not affected by this," Peters said, adding that students would be especially affected.

"They are going to wake up in shock and disbelief and a lot of pain."

Peters did not know whether Peterson had also graduated from the 300-pupil high school. But Karly Johnson, 16, said that she knew the gunman and that he had helped her in a tech education class.

"He graduated with my brother," she said. "He was nice. He was an average guy. Normal. You wouldn't think he could do that."

One of the dead was 14-year-old Lindsey Stahl, said her mother, Jenny, 39.

She said her daughter called her on Saturday night and asked whether she could sleep over at a friend's house. Her mother agreed.

"I'm waiting for somebody to wake me up right now. This is a bad, bad dream," the weeping mother said.

"All I heard it was a jealous boyfriend and he went berserk. He took them all out."

The survivor was in a critical condition today at a hospital in nearby Marshfield, according to a nursing supervisor.

Peterson was killed eight miles north of Crandon in the rural town of Argonne, Dennee said.

Dennee refused to comment on whether Peterson had a romantic relationship with any of the victims.

A second victim was Bradley Schultz, 20, a third-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who was home to visit his friends, said his aunt, Sharon Pisarek.

"We still don't have many details, but from what they've told us, there was a girl next to him and he was covering her, protecting her," she said, sobbing.

"He was loved by everybody. He was everybody's son. Senseless."