..."There was a known danger in that the departments were aware of Tyler Peterson's propensity toward violence and his history of anger-control issues," Peg Lautenschlager, the attorney for the four families and Neitzel, said Monday. "Nonetheless, they continued to allow him to carry a firearm and … didn't do any kind of follow up to determine this level of danger"...
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PARENTS FILE SUIT IN CRANDON SHOOTINGS
LACK OF SUPERVISION CITED BY 4 FAMILIES
Green Bay Press Gazette, WI
By Kate McGinty
October 14, 2008
CRANDON - The parents of four of the six young people killed in a shooting rampage by an off-duty deputy have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
The lone survivor, 21-year-old Charlie Neitzel, who is seeking compensation for the "severe and permanent injuries" he suffered, also filed suit.
The lawsuits, which were filed last week and amended Monday with a minor correction, stem from the Oct. 7, 2007, shooting. Tyler Peterson, 20, a Forest County sheriff's deputy and part-time Crandon police officer, shot and killed six people after an argument at his ex-girlfriend's home. He used a police-issued gun.
The claims name Crandon Police Chief John Dennee, Forest County Sheriff Keith Van Cleve, as well as the city, the county and their insurance companies.
The victims' families accuse them of being negligent in their supervision of Peterson and failing to investigate complaints that he had abused suspects.
"There was a known danger in that the departments were aware of Tyler Peterson's propensity toward violence and his history of anger-control issues," Peg Lautenschlager, the attorney for the four families and Neitzel, said Monday. "Nonetheless, they continued to allow him to carry a firearm and … didn't do any kind of follow up to determine this level of danger."
Lautenschlager, a former Wisconsin attorney general, represents the families of four of the six victims who were killed: Katrina McCorkle, 18; Bradley Schultz, 20; Lindsey Stahl, 14; and Lianna Thomas, 17.
The parents of victim Jordanne Murray, 18, filed notices of circumstances of claim - a necessary precursor to a civil suit - earlier this year. Their attorney, David Blau, did not return a voicemail or e-mail Monday seeking an update on their plans.
The family of shooting victim Aaron Smith, 20, never filed notices.
Paul Payant, the attorney for Forest County, did not return a phone message.
Kate McGinty writes for The Post-Crescent of Appleton.