The families of four young people (of six) who were shot to death by an off-duty deputy have filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The only survivor of the rampage, 21-year old Charlie Neitzel is seeking compensation for "severe and permanent injuries" that he suffered.
The lawsuits were filed as a result of an Oct. 7, 2007 shooting. Tyler Peterson, a 20-year-old Forest County sheriff’s deputy and part-time police officer shot and killed six people following an argument at the home of his ex-girlfriend. The weapon he used was a police-issued AR-15.
The victim’s families are suing the Crandon Police Chief, Forest County Sheriff, the city and their insurance companies. These entities claim that there is evidence that Tyler Peterson had abused suspects in the past.
"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, attorney for the families and Neitzel, told the press.
So far four of the six families have filed lawsuits. The attorney for Forest County has yet to make a statement.
Author: Kate McGinty