MADISON, Wis. — Two police officers who shot and killed a northern Wisconsin man after he killed four people in March did not commit any crime, the Wisconsin Department of Justice concluded after completing its investigation and making the report public Tuesday.
Nengmy Vang, 45, killed two of his wife’s co-workers, her divorce attorney and a police officer in the shooting spree on March 22 that ended in him being shot by police. He died 10 days later in the hospital.
Based on the facts and circumstances, Everest Metropolitan Police Department Detective Sergeant Dan Goff and Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Bell acted legally within the performance of their duties when they shot Nengmy Vang and did nothing that warrants criminal charges, the report said.
“The officers responded as they were trained to do and did so reasonably,” Assistant Attorney General Roy Korte wrote.
Nengmy Vang and his wife were separated and going through a bitter divorce. The report shows that his wife, Naly Vang, contacted law enforcement around 12:30 p.m. on the day of the shooting to say that her husband said he wanted her to sign divorce papers within 24 hours or he would kill her.
Two Rothschild police officers met with Naly Vang at the bank where she worked. She told them she did not believe her husband would come to the bank, the officers discussed her safety and agreed to keep an eye out for Nengmy Vang, and then left.
Less than 30 minutes later Nengmy Vang showed up at the bank, confronted his wife, then left. She left the bank and called 911 from a nearby Subway restaurant. Nengmy Vang returned to the bank, loaded a handgun, and killed bank tellers Dianne Look and Karen Barclay.
The report said one of the bank employees called 911 and gunshots could be heard on the call, followed by screams.
Nengmy Vang then went to the nearby Schofield law firm of his wife’s divorce attorney, Sara Quirt Sann. The report said he forced one of the workers at the law firm at gunpoint to take him to Sann’s office, where he shot her in the head.
Vang fled to his apartment in nearby Weston where he barricaded himself inside. As police established a perimeter around the building, Vang shot and killed Everest Metro Police Detective Jason Weiland. The investigative report said Weiland had been shot in the head from about 100 yards away.
Goff, an Everest officer, returned fire, hitting Vang in the shoulder. The report said during the ensuing three-hour standoff Nengmy Vang spoke with police for more than two hours on the phone. During those conversations he admitted to shooting the four people and said he killed the bank tellers because they had called 911 to report him.
During the calls he expressed anger with having to pay child support and said he was not being treated fairly during the divorce. He offered a variety of reasons for the shootings, and also said he was sorry for killing innocent people, according to the report.
But he also grew angry and threatened to shoot at police again, saying he was a good shot and had a range finder.
After observing Nengmy Vang carrying a long gun, the Marathon County officer Bell fired 29 shots, emptying his AR-15 rifle. Nengmy Vang had been shot 11 times and was taken to the hospital where he died 10 days later on April 1.
A 7 mm rifle was recovered from the floor of his apartment and another rifle in a plastic case was found in the closet. A handgun with three unfired bullets fell out of his pocket as he was being loaded onto a gurney, the report said.
The shootings happened in a cluster of towns near Wausau, which is 90 miles west of Green Bay in north-central Wisconsin.
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