OCONOMOWOC, Wis. – A Wisconsin man did more than seek out the wife he terrorized for years during a shooting rampage last weekend. He also killed two of her co-workers at the Milwaukee-area spa, leaving behind seven grieving children and a community wondering when the violence will end.
On Sunday morning, police say, 45-year-old Radcliffe F. Haughton stormed into the Azana Spa and Salon in Brookfield, carrying a .40 caliber handgun. He was apparently looking for his wife, 42-year-old Zina Haughton, who'd been granted a four-year restraining order two days earlier.
Radcliffe Haughton opened fire, sending employees and customers fleeing for cover. When the rampage ended, Zina Haughton, 35-year-old Cary L. Robuck of Racine and 38-year-old Maelyn M. Lind of Oconomowoc were dead. The gunman was found in a locked area, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Of the four other women injured, one was released from the hospital Monday and the others were in satisfactory condition Tuesday.
The attack prompted an outpouring of grief, including vigils, prayer services and touching remembrances.
Spa owner Tami Gemmell remembered the victims as hard-working mothers who were dedicated to their families and always had a smile for everyone. She told reporters Tuesday that if any good were to come of the tragedy, it would be that the shooting could encourage a dialogue about domestic violence.
Lind had four children between the ages of 11 and 19, as well as two young grandchildren. At a somber news conference Tuesday night, her father said a sheriff's deputy told him his daughter died while intervening to save Zina Haughton's daughter.
"It does not surprise me at all. She died a martyr," Keith Hanson said, later adding, "She did what was right."
Diana Lewis, the assistant principal at the Oconomowoc school that Lind's two youngest sons attend, remembered Lind as a loving, caring woman. She said Lind took in one of her children's troubled friends for at least six months because the boy had nowhere else to go.
If one of Lind's kids rebelled in school, Lind would support both her child and the school officials who meted out discipline, Lewis recalled.
"She'd say, 'Hey, you know what you did, here's what the consequences will be, but I still love you,'" Lewis said. "There was no yelling, no 'wait till your father gets home.' Just very supportive."
Robuck, a nail technician, had a 17-year-old daughter and was like a mother to her boyfriend's 16-year-old daughter. Loved ones said she was a strong woman who worked for everything she had and never expected anything from anyone.
Her daughter, Mariah Sturm, turned to Twitter after she heard about the shooting. She wrote that she was scared and was having trouble coping with the uncertainty. Later, she tweeted, "Thank you everyone for being here for me....just to let everyone one know my mom did not make it today."
When dozens of people showed up at a park vigil in Robuck's memory, about half wore purple — which Sturm had tweeted was her mother's favorite color.
Zina Haughton was devoted to her two daughters, friends said, decorating her salon station with their photographs as a respite from an increasingly tumultuous marriage. She had just obtained a four-year restraining order last week after Radcliffe Haughton slashed her vehicle's tire in front of her co-workers.
"She was a wonderful mom," Kristin Guadagno, one of Zina Haughton's clients, 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."
Dinesh Ramde can be reached at dramde(at)ap.org.