Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Well, at least he had a reason

CRANDON, Wis. - A young sheriff's deputy who opened fire on a pizza party and killed six people flew into a rage when he was rebuffed by his old girlfriend - and others called him a "worthless pig."

A longtime friend told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday that 20-year-old Tyler Peterson came to his door in the hours after the rampage and calmly explained what he had done.

"He wasn't running around crazy or anything. He was very, very sorry for what he did," Mike Kegley told the paper, adding that he gave Peterson coffee and food and then called 911.

Peterson told Kegley that he had gone to his ex-girlfriend's house early Sunday morning in hopes of patching up the relationship after a recent breakup.

He said Peterson lost control when an argument erupted and other people started ridiculing him as a "worthless pig."

Police, who declined to provide details of the argument, said Peterson stormed out, retrieved an AR-15 rifle from his car outside and burst back into the house firing 30 shots that killed all but one of the people at the party.

"We had no idea, obviously, that anything like this would ever occur," Crandon Police Chief John Dennee said at a news conference yesterday.

Peterson, a deputy and part-time police officer in the tiny town, later died after exchanging gunfire with law enforcement officers. It was unclear if police shot Peterson or he killed himself.

Police acknowledged yesterday that Peterson had received no psychological screening before he was hired.

Some screening might be a good idea there Chief. Of course most police psychological screening now days consists of weeding out candidates who like firearms or are otherwise politically incorrect.