MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Justice has identified the man who shot and killed a former Juneau County judge and reportedly planned to target other high-ranking politicians as 56-year-old Douglas K. Uhde.
DOJ officials confirmed that 68-year-old former judge John Roemer was shot and killed by Uhde inside his home in the Township of New Lisbon early Friday morning. They say the Juneau County Sheriff’s Office received a call at about 6:30 a.m. reporting an armed person in the home and two gunshots.
The person who called authorities had left the home and called from another nearby house, the DOJ said.
According to the DOJ’s initial findings, authorities tried unsuccessfully to negotiate with Uhde, who was still inside the home. At about 10:17 a.m. Friday, the Juneau County Special Tactics and Response Team entered the house, where they found Roemer dead.
The tactical response team found Uhde in the home’s basement, suffering from what authorities described as an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Life-saving measures were performed and Uhde was taken to a local medical facility, where he remains in critical condition Saturday, the DOJ said.
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A search of court records found Roemer was involved in a case involving Uhde nearly 20 years ago, when Uhde pleaded no contest to charges of burglary while armed with a dangerous weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a short-barreled shotgun or rifle, and being a person previously convicted of a felony possessing a firearm after a plea hearing in November of 2005.
Roemer was not the judge assigned to the case when the charges were first filed in August of 2001, but was assigned to it in February 2005, and was the judge on the bench for Uhde’s sentencing. Court records show Roemer sentenced Uhde to six years in state prison and nine years extended supervision on the armed burglary charge, while sentences for the other charges were served concurrently.
The DOJ confirmed the shooting of Roemer appears to be a targeted act, but did not provide further details into their reasoning. The DOJ also did not address multiple reports that Uhde had an apparent hit list that included Roemer and high-ranking politicians, such as Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell.
The DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation is continuing to lead the investigation into Roemer’s shooting and is urging anyone who has information about Uhde to contact them at 608-266-1221.
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism