FOND DU LAC, Wis. (WFRV) – It was still a Saturday like most others. Just before 6 a.m. Sheahn Toma was sound asleep in her home on Western Avenue, as were her two young daughters.
“It’s always a pretty quiet neighborhood,” Toma said.
Then it wasn’t.
“We were woken up by sirens first, and then about 30 seconds later, I started hearing gunfire,” she said. “I would say there [were] quite a few rounds going back and forth.”
The quiet neighborhood was turned into the opposite, and Toma was the most worried she had ever been after living in Fond du Lac her whole life.
“My oldest daughter had woken up too, and I just told her to stay on the ground,” she said. “I had come downstairs to see whose vehicle, and I did see that it was the gentleman across the street; it was his car.”
Toma’s neighbor from across the street was the suspect in a disturbance call involving weapons, which the Fond du Lac police officers and Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s deputies responded to.
“Anything I’ve seen of him was very normal. I was shocked to see that he was involved in anything like that,” she said. “Mid-30s, I would see him outside with his dogs, grilling, playing basketball.”
By the time Toma had gotten downstairs, she knew that her neighbor had not just been shot but that he had also been shot.
“They were just kind of asking him, ‘Hey, are you okay?’ in the vehicle. It sounded like he must have still been in there at that point,” she said. “We had seen them doing CPR on him in the driveway. Shortly after, the paramedics arrived and pronounced that he had passed away at that point.”
A Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s K9 was also shot and seriously wounded, but he was alive. He was rushed to a veterinary hospital in serious condition but stabilized. He had a “lengthy surgery” Sunday afternoon, according to a Fond du Lac County Sheriff Facebook post, and was in serious but stable condition.
“It was a lot going on for our neighborhood; it’s not something you’re expecting to be woken up by at six in the morning on a Saturday,” Toma said.
More than 25 bullet holes peppered the garage door and siding at the neighbor’s house, and investigators were still combing the scene Monday.
Fond du Lac police officers are delivering letters from Chief Aaron Goldstein and talking to neighbors to “reassure the neighborhood’s sense of security and safety,” the letter read.
“Obviously, reassuring your kids, you want to feel reassured (as a parent), so it was nice that they kept us in the loop and are letting us know that we’re okay and not in harm’s way,” Toma said. “Letting us know, in the area, that it happened, that we’re not in any danger. They’re keeping us informed of everything and not keeping us in the dark, so I do appreciate that.”
The department says there is no danger, though the signs are still fresh. The investigators’ vehicles, the police tape, bullet holes, broken glass, dried blood. None of it Toma could have expected.
“It just genuinely shows you you don’t know who everyone is or what’s going on around you,” Toma said.
I am writing to thank you for your continued patience and cooperation during Saturday’s critical incident that occurred in the 500 block of Drury Place. We acknowledge that situations like this are very traumatic.
The City of Fond du Lac Police Department is going door-to-door in the area to meet with families, provide the Wisconsin Department of Justice media release (on the back side of this letter), and reassure the neighborhood’s sense of safety and security.
Community safety remains a priority and FDLPD remains committed to doing everything we can to ensure our residents feel safe in our city. I am grateful each and every day for the way our FDLPD Officers and Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office Deputies work together to keep our communities safe.
I extend my heartfelt appreciation for your continued support. I want to remind you that help is available and I ask anyone who knows of someone who may be struggling from this incident to reach out (Non-Emergency Line 920-906-5555) so that we can connect that person to the resources they need.
Sincerely,Chief Aaron Goldstein