Retired judge shot and killed at his home by man with justice system hit list

Specialized officers made unsuccessful attempts to negotiate with the attacker at the scene and found the former judge dead and the shooter with a self-inflicted gunshot wound

John Roemer served as a Juneau County judge from 2004 to 2017
John Roemer was a judge from 2004 to 2017

A former judge was shot dead at his home by a man with a hit list of numbers “related to the justice system,” it emerged.

John Roemer, 68, was a Juneau County judge from 2004 to 2017 and previously served as an assistant district attorney and assistant district attorney.

Police were called to the home in the rural town of New Lisbon, Wisconsin around 6:30 a.m. Friday morning (June 3) after two gunshots were reported.

Specialized officers attempted to negotiate with the shooter at the scene, but were unsuccessful.

Police then entered the home just after 10am and found two people with gunshot wounds – one had died and the other had been injured by a self-inflicted gunshot.

Police outside the scene of the shooting in New Lisbon, Wisconsin, USA

The injured man was discovered in the basement and treated at home before being taken to the hospital. He remains in critical condition.

“Two individuals were found on the property, one deceased and one with a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said.

“The person who is the suspect also appears to have had other goals that appear to be related to the justice system.

John Roemer previously served 12 years as an assistant district attorney and assistant public defender in Baraboo, Wisconsin

“At this time we are not aware of any evidence to suggest there is any active danger to anyone else. Those who may have been other targets have been informed.”

Mr Kaul said he could not give details of anyone else who was on the “hit list”. While Mr Kaul did not officially identify Mr Roemer as the deceased, another official confirmed that it was the former judge who had died The New York Times reported.

“I can’t talk about what individual people are doing or their protection details,” Mr Kaul said.

“But what I can say is that we have been in contact with those on the list and are working to protect their safety.”

Josh Kaul, Attorney General of Wisconsin

A local resident, Donna Voss, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel She was deeply shocked by the incident.

“One of my neighbors called and said what’s up, what’s up,” she said, adding that she overheard police telling the person inside to “come out with your hands up.”

“It was really surprising that something like this would happen here. I still can’t get my head around it,” she added.

Voss said of Herr Römer: “He was such a nice guy. Church-goer. It’s terrible.”

Another resident, Jackie, said of Mr Roemer: “He walks his dogs all the time. He’s friendly, quite a nice guy.”

She said there was a “small community” on the street where Mr. Römer lived and that the community was rocked by the incident.

The investigation is being conducted by the Division of Criminal Investigation, which is part of the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

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