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6 killed as Wisconsin deputy goes on shooting spree

world Updated: Oct 08, 2007 08:05 IST

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A sheriff's deputy went on a shooting rampage Sunday, killing his ex-girlfriend and five other teenagers at a house party in a small town in Wisconsin, authorities said.

The 20-year-old deputy and all those shot were all part of a close-knit group of friends, sources said.

A total of 10 area youths aged 16 to 21 were at the party, WMTJ Radio reported. Police have confirmed that a 19-year-old was in critical condition.

The shooting began just before three o'clock in the morning and within hours the deputy was also dead, although authorities would not say how he died or where.

Fox news reported that he had been shot by a police sniper after an intensive manhunt.

The 2,000 or so people who lived in Crandon near Canadian border, spent much of Sunday in "lockdown," with residents forbidden from venturing out on the town's streets, according to television station WTMJ.

Two of those killed were seniors at Crandon High School, which had just celebrated a homecoming victory Friday night.

"This is affecting everybody in this small community," said Tom Vollmar, a Forest County supervisor who has lived in Crandon 57 years. "There's no family that hasn't been touched in one way or another."

The deputy "was a good kid, likes to hunt and fish, just a normal kid and they were all real good friends," said a Crandon man who was friends with the families of both the suspect and some of the victims.

Kelly Flanery, 15, knew all of the victims and said the ex-girlfriend of the shooter "was like the nicest person. She was friends with everyone."

Cody Hanson, 17, knew the deputy casually and is in the same grade as two girls who were shot to death.

"I've seen him, I've talked to him. He just doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would do that," Hanson said.

Local WTMJ radio has identified the suspect gunman as Forest County Sheriff's Department Deputy Tyler Peterson.

Crandon is known for logging, and fishing, hunting and snowmobiling. It's also home to the World Championship Off-Road Races.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reported last month that more than 1.4 million murders, rapes, robberies and assaults were committed around the United States last year, or a violent crime every 22 seconds.

The number of victims of violent crime in the United States last year was the equivalent of the entire population of European Union member Estonia or the African state of Gabon falling victim to murder, rape, robbery or assault.

The rate of violent crime was up by 1.9 per cent compared with 2005, with murders climbing by 1.8 percent to nearly 15,000 cases last year.