According to Waupaca Police, officers responded to a report of a man with a gunshot wound at around 10:20 p.m. in the City of Waupaca on Monday, Oct. 19. When officers arrived, they found a man lying in the roadway. He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Another man was taken into custody at the scene.
Charges have since been filed against 44-year-old William Zelenski and 34-year-old Tiffany Powell – the mother of the victim.
Authorities say Zelenski initially called the Waupaca County Communication Center on Monday night, multiple times, regarding a burglary at his home that occurred in the week before. He reported numerous items had been stolen, including:
- Two handguns
- A lizard valued at $17,000
- A crocodile valued at $2,000
- A red-tail boa constrictor valued at $575
- A baby Burmese python valued at $7,000
Zelenski stated he had received a tip that the unidentified victim of the shooting and a teenager were responsible for the thefts. About an hour after his last call to the dispatch center, authorities received multiple calls of a man having been shot.
One of those calls came from Zelenski, who admitted to confronting the victim, who “had attacked him,” and shooting him.
Powell was present during the altercation and provided authorities more details about the incident.
When Zelenski and Powell went to locate the stolen items, Powell says they saw her son walking on a sidewalk and stopped to confront him.
Powell’s son reportedly “took off his shirt and said he wanted to fight Zelenski and that Zelenski took a gun out of the vehicle and shot” him.
Authorities say a majority of the incident was caught on a nearby security doorbell camera.
According to the criminal complaint, Zelenski has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide. Powell has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide – party to a crime, first-degree recklessly endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon as a repeater, and possession of a firearm by a felon. If convicted, both could face up to life imprisonment.
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