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DA Ismael Ozanne to announce whether cops will be cleared for fatally shooting gunman inside Middleton business last September

January 1, 2019

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne will release his findings next Monday about whether any law enforcement officers are criminally liable for the fatal shooting of a 43-year-old gunman after he opened fire inside a Middleton business where he worked and seriously injured three people, Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke said.

Two Dane County sheriff’s deputies and two officers with the Middleton Police Department were in a shootout with Anthony Y. Tong, of Madison, just minutes after Tong entered WTS Paradigm, 1850 Deming Way, with a gun and several extra magazines and began shooting co-workers on Sept. 19, Foulke said.

Tong was shot during the shootout and died later at a local hospital.

One of the victims shot by Tong was in critical condition and two were in serious condition immediately after the incident but all survived. A fourth victim was grazed by a bullet. None of the officers or deputies was injured.

All four law enforcement officers — deputies David Labrecht and Matthew Earll and officers Richard O’Connor and Tyler Loether — have been on paid leave while waiting for the results of the investigation of the incident by the state Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation. Ozanne is expected to base his decision on the results of that investigation.

State law requires outside investigations for all officer-involved shootings.

Foulke said all four law enforcement officers were interviewed by DCI investigators. The investigators were also expected to view footage from body cameras on Middleton police officers along with the dash camera video from squad cars and security cameras in the office building.

The efforts of the four law enforcement officers were lauded after the incident by Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney as well as the owner of WTS Paradigm CEO Nate Herbst.

“Their training kicked in,” Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said. “They assembled an entry team and within minutes ended this situation. It was because of the training. It was because of the scenarios we practice. We saved lives, there’s no doubt.”

Herbst said the “quick and brave response” by law enforcement was an incredible sense of comfort to his employees. “This group of first responders ran into danger and saved many lives,” he said.

All four law enforcement officers were experienced. At the time of the shooting, Labrecht was a 21-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office and Earll was an 11-year veteran. O’Connor was a 20-year veteran with Middleton police and Loether was a six-year veteran.

It wasn’t determined in the immediate aftermath of the shooting how many times the gunman and police fired their weapons.

Witnesses inside the building said they heard a dozen gunshots from what sounded like a handgun before police arrived.

A large cache of weapon parts and ammunition were found later that day when police searched Tong’s home at 9738 Gilded Cider Blvd., on Madison’s Far West Side. He was not allowed to possess them because of a prior history of mental illness. It wasn’t known at the time of the shooting how he got them.

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