WINNECONNE, Wis. (WFRV) – Wednesday started out as a quiet day for Winneconne Police Chief Ben Sauriol until he received a report on his radio that there was a shooting.
“Well, first you do a double take, you’re like ‘shooting in Winneconne? Really?’” he said.
He and a nearby school resource officer were first on the scene at the Marsh Family Dentistry, just over a minute after being dispatched, where they found a man shot several times being tended to by the dentist’s office staff.
“Due to their diligence and their hard work of rendering first aid, I think that was crucial in saving his life,” Sauriol said. “I can’t thank them enough, a sensational job by that staff.”
The victim had walked two blocks from Lake Winneconne Park to the dentist’s office seeking help. He remains in critical but stable condition.
According to police, the shooting stemmed from a road rage incident when the victim confronted the shooter, 73-year-old Winneconne resident Donald Lucero, at the park.
“The victim just stated bad driving by the other person, and it led from there, snowballed from there,” Sauriol said.
According to police, Lucero fled the scene and drove more than 60 miles south to West Bend. The West Bend Police Department was already on the lookout for his grey pickup truck and spotted it coming their way.
A chase ensued, and Lucero veered off the road, crashed, and was killed. West Bend Police say that Lucero is “believed to have been killed by the collision. The autopsy will have the confirmation.”
According to Everytown Research & Policy data, there were 550 shootings resulting from road rage in the U.S. in 2022.
Sauriol hopes that people will contact law enforcement rather than try to settle disputes themselves.
“The best thing to do is to drive easy and don’t say anything to anybody at any point because you just don’t know what could happen,” Sauriol said. “If there’s any hot temper issues while driving, just don’t say anything, let us handle it if there’s a problem.”