Governor Tony Evers on Saturday responded to the killing of retired Juneau County Judge John Roemer.
“I mean, the idea that, as I said before, a judge from a rural county is targeted and murdered, it’s just abhorrent to our judiciary and to leadership in our state and our county," said Evers.
"It’s a horrible situation. I grieve for him. I grieve for his family. And God, we can do better than this in Wisconsin," he said.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (WisDOJ) is now leading the investigation. They said that law enforcement went to the home around 6:30 a.m. after a report of an armed man and two gunshots.
According to WisDOJ, after negotiations failed with the suspect, Douglas K. Udhe, 56, officers entered the home and found Roemer, 68, dead.
Officers found Udhe in the basement with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police say he survived and is now in critical condition at a hospital.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler said the following on Roemer's death:
"The state's judicial family is shocked and saddened by this tragedy. Judge Roemer dedicated much of his career to public service in the law. Before taking the bench in 2004, he had served as an assistant district attorney and as an assistant state public defender. He was known by colleagues for his sharp legal mind and his willingness to share his time and knowledge with others. His work made a tremendous difference in the lives of many people in Juneau County and elsewhere in the state. Our deepest sympathy goes to Judge Roemer's family at this time."
Court records show that Roemer sentenced Uhde to six years in prison in 2005 for armed burglary and several other firearms charges.
"We have to think about how we’re going to resolve it," said Evers. "I know Democrats and Republicans argue about whether were going to do something about gun safety or not do that. But if we continue to go to our corners, nothing will happen and more of this will happen."