An off-duty sheriff's deputy went on an early morning shooting rampage at a home where seven young people had gathered for pizza and movies, killing six and critically injuring the other before authorities fatally shot him, officials said.
The gunman, Tyler Peterson, was 20 years old and worked full-time as a Forest County deputy sheriff and part-time as a Crandon police officer, said Police Chief John Dennee.
Three of the victims were students at the high school in this small northern Wisconsin town, and three were recent graduates, a school official said. The gunman may have graduated from the same high school.
Peterson was not working at the time of the shooting early Sunday, Sheriff Keith Van Cleve said.
The survivor was in critical condition Sunday night at a hospital in nearby Marshfield, according to a nursing supervisor. A Crandon police officer who fired back was treated for minor injuries and released.
Gary Bradley, mayor of the city of about 2,000, said earlier Sunday that a sniper killed the suspect, but Van Cleve would not confirm that officers shot the suspect.
Peterson was killed Sunday afternoon 8 miles (13 kilometers) north of Crandon in the rural town of Argonne, Dennee said.
The circumstances of the shooting were hazy Sunday and it was not immediately clear what the gunman's motive was, but the mother of a 14-year-old victim said the suspect may have been a jealous boyfriend.
"It was a pizza and movie party," Dennee said.
Three of the victims were Crandon High School students, said schools Superintendent Richard Peters, and the other three had graduated within the past three years.
Classes were canceled for Monday in the town, which is about 225 miles (360 kilometers) north of Milwaukee in an area known for logging and outdoor activities.
"There is probably nobody in Crandon who is not affected by this," Peters said, adding that students would be especially affected. "They are going to wake up in shock and disbelief and a lot of pain."
Peters did not know whether Peterson had also graduated from the 300-student high school. But Crandon resident Karly Johnson, 16, said that she knew the gunman and that he had helped her in a tech education class.
"He graduated with my brother," she said. "He was nice. He was an average guy. Normal. You wouldn't think he could do that."
One of the dead was 14-year-old Lindsey Stahl, said her mother, Jenny Stahl, 39.
She said her daughter called her Saturday night and asked whether she could sleep over at a friend's house. Jenny Stahl agreed.
"I'm waiting for somebody to wake me up right now. This is a bad, bad dream," the weeping mother said. "All I heard it was a jealous boyfriend and he went berserk. He took them all out."
Dennee declined comment on whether Peterson had a romantic relationship with any of the victims.
A second victim was Bradley Schultz, 20, a third-year student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who was home to visit his friends, said his aunt, Sharon Pisarek.
"We still don't have many details, but from what they've told us, there was a girl next to him and he was covering her, protecting her," she said, sobbing. "He was loved by everybody. He was everybody's son. Senseless."