Gunman Apparently Walked Out Of Church Service Two Weeks Ago
As police investigate a violent Saturday morning church service in suburban Milwaukee, it appears none of the congregation was worried, or had any reason to be, when they saw Terry Ratzmann, 44, walk into the service.
It had been a couple of weeks since he had last joined the Living Church of God congregation at the Sheraton Hotel conference room in Brookfield where they regularly held worship services, which he usually attended. Friends and neighbors describe Ratzmann as a buttoned-down churchgoer known for sharing homegrown vegetables with his neighbors.
But seconds after he walked into the room, he opened fire on the group, unloading 22 bullets from a 9 mm handgun within a minute. Before the shooting stopped, the pastor, the pastor’s son, and five other church members were dead, four others were wounded, and Ratzmann had killed himself.
“He reloaded the gun once during the exchange of gunfire and then, as witnesses reported to us, shot himself once in the head,” said Brookfield police chief Daniel Tushaus.
None of those who knew him expected Ratzmann to be violent, though some said he had grappled with depression. Neighbors said he was quiet and devout, that he liked to tinker about his house and garden. He would even release the chipmunks caught in traps he set in his yard.
Police say Ratzmann walked out of a church meeting two weeks ago, apparently upset about a sermon, reports CBS News Correspondent Kelly Cobiella. They also say he was about to lose his job.