A gunman opens fire in a suburban Milwaukee spa this morning. Police responded to reports of gunfire at the Azana Salon and Spa just after 11 a.m. where they rescued up to a dozen customers and employees, while evacuating four who were wounded. Three others had been killed. For much of the afternoon, Police Chief Dan Tushaus said officers “methodically” went room-to-room to secure the 9000 sq. ft. building. Eventually they came upon the gunman, 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton, who’d killed himself.
Prior to confirmation of the gunman’s death, the injured were sent to Froedert Hospital which went into lockdown due to concern the suspect would strike there next. “They (SWAT officers) responded heroically actually,” said Dr. Gary Seabrook, director of surgical services, referring to the security service provided at the hospital. Eventually the lockdown was lifted.
The four injured are all women ages 22-to-40, and are expected to survive.
Police believe the shooting stemmed from a domestic dispute as Haughton’s estranged wife Zina is employed at the spa. Back on October 4, witnesses said Haughton slashed his wife’s tires while she was at work. She successfully filed a restraining order against him after that incident.
While officers were securing the Brookfield spa and surrounding area, police began a sweep of Haughton’s home in Brown Deer. They received information that the home was wired with explosives, which turned out to be untrue. Haughton and his wife have two daughters, one of high school age, and the other who is older. Neither was home during the search.
This is not the first shooting rampage the Milwaukee-area has dealt with in recent years. In 2005, less than a mile from Azana, a computer technician opened fire at the Brookfield Sheraton Hotel during a Living Church of God service, killing seven people and injuring four others. In 2007, a man killed his twin infant sons, his estranged wife, her sister and a friend at an apartment in Delavan. In August, a gunman opened fire at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek killing six people and injuring four others. In all three instances, the gunmen killed themselves.