Much more is now known, about a pair of shootings in Chippewa County that left a total of a five people dead. But the motive that drove 33 year-old Richie German Jr. may remain unclear. “What was the motive? Why did this happen? I don’t have that answer,” said Chippewa County Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk during a Tuesday press conference. “We’re working on that answer. That question may never be answered.”
German killed his mother, 66 year-old Bridget German, brother, 32-year-old Douglas German, and Douglas’ eight year-old son Calvin Harris, all at Bridget German’s Lafayette home. Kowalczyk said he believes all three were dead by Saturday morning.
German was arrested following a domestic incident at his mother’s home in 2006, his only known contact with police. Kowalczyk called him a “troubled individual,” and said there are no indications that German had a job or a car.
Sunday night, German shot and killed 24-year-old Laile Vang and himself at a Lake Hallie home, after shooting through the front door with a shotgun.
Vang’s parents, who were wounded, told police they did not know German. Sheriff Kowalczyk suggested German may have been attempting to kidnap Laile Vang, and compared the case to that of Jayme Closs kidnapper Jake Patterson, serving a life sentence for the murders the Barron teen’s parents.
Kowalczyk said Ritchie had exchanged text messages with Laile Vang, but that she also apparently did not know him. Her parents, 39-year-old Mai Chang Vang and 51-year-old Teng Vang were both shot, and both had to have an arm amputated. The parents are expected to recover.