MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Justice Department plans to offer Milwaukee-area police additional training in handling domestic violence incidents in the wake of a deadly shooting at a Brookfield spa.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Tuesday that Brown Deer Police Chief Steven Rinzel requested the training for all police in the area. Rinzel’s request comes as questions swirl about why authorities failed to prevent Radcliffe Haughton from killing three women and wounding four more at the Azana Day Spa earlier this month.
Van Hollen issued a statement acknowledging it’s still unclear whether police “missed opportunities for intervention” but said he wouldn’t comment further because facts are still coming to light. He said DOJ’s Training and Standards Bureau would work with Rinzel and other area police to identify what specialized domestic violence training the agencies want.
“What we do know … is that domestic violence is a complex problem,” Van Hollen said.
Rinzel didn’t immediately return a telephone message left with his office secretary Tuesday.
Haughton, a 45-year-old former car salesman, walked into the spa where his 42-year-old wife, Zina Haughton, worked on Oct. 21 and starting shooting with a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun he’d bought the day before from a private individual. He killed his wife and two of her co-workers and wounded four others before turning the gun on himself.
Court records show Haughton had terrorized his wife for years, including threatening to throw acid on her face, dousing her car with tomato juice and slashing her vehicle’s tires.
He was charged with disorderly conduct last year after police thought they saw him point a gun at his wife from a window at their home. Officers took cover and 90-minute standoff ensued. They finally retreated; they said they were never able to confirm a gun was involved because Zina Haughton wouldn’t allow them into the couple’s home.
The case fell apart after a police officer failed to appear in court and prosecutors refused to reschedule the appearance.
Three days before the spa shooting, though, she obtained a restraining order against him. She wrote in her request for the order that her husband had accused her of cheating on him and had threatened to kill her if she ever left him.
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