1 man dead, 1 arrested after shootout with Neenah police
One man was shot and killed, another taken into custody during a tense hostage situation in Neenah on Saturday, according to police chief Kevin Wilkinson.
Police were called to Eagle Nation Cycles, a motorcycle repair shop in the 200 block of Main Street, for a disturbance around 9 a.m. Police say reports indicated a gunman had taken several people hostage inside the building.
Wilkinson says officers entered the building when they learned the hostages were in immediate danger of being killed.
"Officers then attempted entry into the building to save the hostages and were met with gunfire," Wilkinson said.
A bullet hit one Neenah officer in his ballistic helmet. The bullet deflected off of the helmet and the officer is okay, Wilkinson said.
A short time later, police say one man ran out of the building with a weapon in his hand. Wilkinson says the man was not the suspected gunman and he did not respond to officers' commands to drop the weapon.
"And was subsequently shot at by one or more officers on scene. We do not know if he was also shot at by the subject inside the building," Wilkinson said.
The chief says is it unclear whether the man was shot by the gunman or by police. The man later died from his injuries.
After several hours of negotiations, the hostages were released unharmed. The gunman surrendered to police and was arrested.
During the situation residents in the area were told to either evacuate or "shelter in place" based on their proximity to the site.
Police are still searching for a motive.
However, FOX 11 spoke with Cole White, the attorney for the owner of Eagle Nation Cycles, Steve Erato. White says the gunman had sold his motorcycle to a third party. That third party was having the bike worked on at the shop. But the gunman decided he wanted the motorcycle back.
"He came in demanding his bike back and took hostages and the situation escalated from there," White said.
White says Erato does not know the suspected gunman personally. According to White, Erato was threatened by the suspect, but not hurt.
"He was able to get into the basement of the facility and secure himself away from the main interaction," White said. "But in a sense he was trapped down there against his will. It's a difficult situation. It's obviously a stressful and emotional situation. And he's doing as well as I think can be expected under all of the circumstances."
White says the incident left everyone involved shaken.
Several police agencies assisted at the scene. The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting.