Wis. man bought gun 1 day before spa shooting
MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Wisconsin woman whose husband killed her and two others at the spa where she worked said he threatened to throw acid in her face and jealously terrorized her “every waking moment,” according to court documents.
Authorities say Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, 45, killed three women, including his 42-year-old wife, Zina Haughton, and wounded four others Sunday before turning the gun on himself.
The Waukesha County medical examiner’s office on Monday identified the dead as Zina Haughton; Cary L. Robuck, 35, of Racine; and Maelyn M. Lind, 38, of Oconomowoc. All were found in the spa.
In a written request for a restraining order filed Oct. 8, Zina Haughton said her husband was convinced she was cheating on him and that aside from the acid threat he also vowed to burn her and her family with gas. He said he would kill her if she ever left him or called the police, according to the court papers obtained Monday by The Associated Press.
“His threats terrorize my every waking moment,” she wrote.
In a separate police report, she said the couple was in the process of getting a divorce and “we are always arguing.”
Haughton was arrested earlier this month for slashing his wife’s tires; she was granted a four-year restraining order on Thursday.
Under the order, Haughton was prohibited from owning a firearm. But police said Monday that Haughton bought the .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun used in the deadly shooting two days later.
Police responded last year to reports of domestic violence at the Haughtons’ home in Brown Deer. Zina Haughton called 911 saying her enraged husband had thrown her clothes and bedding into the yard and doused her vehicle with tomato juice. Radcliffe Haughton was charged with disorderly conduct following the 90-minute standoff with police, but the charge was later dismissed because a witness failed to appear in court.
Brookfield Police Chief Dan Tushaus said he wasn’t aware of a motive in Sunday’s shooting.
A spokeswoman at Froedtert Hospital, where the injured were taken, said one of the four women was released Monday afternoon. Kathy Sieja said the three other women were in satisfactory condition.
Ernest J. Polk, a neighbor who lives across the street from the Haughtons, said the couple was generally friendly to him but he saw signs of turmoil.
“There was always confrontation over there, but I never thought it would come to this,” he said. “… It was mostly verbal. I didn’t see anything physical.”
Customers described Zina Haughton was a popular hair stylist who decorated her work station with photos of her two daughters.
“She was a wonderful mom,” Kristin Guadagno told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “She had two daughters who were the foundation of her family. She was their everything. She worked so many hours every week to provide for them and take them on nice trips.”
The shootings that happened about 11 a.m. Sunday triggered chaos in the commercial area around the spa. Believing Haughton had fled, police began a massive, six-hour search that locked down a nearby mall, country club and hospital.
Tushaus said later that a fire in the spa, discovery of a propane tank initially believed to be an improvised explosive device and the layout of the building, with many small rooms and locked areas, all slowed officers’ search and delayed the discovery of the gunman’s body.
It was the second mass shooting in Wisconsin this year. Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran and white supremacist, killed six people and injured three others before fatally shooting himself Aug. 5 at a Sikh temple south of Milwaukee.
Sunday’s shooting took place less than a mile from where seven people were killed and four wounded on March 12, 2005, when a gunman opened fire at a Living Church of God service held at a hotel.
Associated Press writers Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee and Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis and researchers Lynn Dombek and Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.
Dinesh Ramde can be reached at dramde(at)ap.org.
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