Statement by acquaintance of Brookfield
gunman shows shootings were premeditated
By Dixon Cartwright
An acquaintance of 44-year-old Terry Ratzmann of New Berlin, Wis., who killed seven worshipers at a Living Church of God Sabbath service March 12, says he warned her that the Brookfield, Wis., Sheraton hotel would soon be in the news.
Mr. Ratzmann shot 12 people during the service, killing eight, including himself.
An employee of a hardware store in nearby Elm Grove, Wis., says she talked with Mr. Ratzmann weeks before the shootings, at which time he told her he was angry and depressed "about the church."
She said Mr. Ratzmann made his remarks while visiting with her in the store's checkout line. She said he was a regular customer and she was fairly well acquainted with him.
She said he mentioned to her he was "very angry" with "his church" because of a "sermon." She said he did not mention any specific person he was upset with. But she stated that he mentioned the Sheraton hotel in Brookfield to her and said, "It's going to be on the news."
The uncle of 15-year-old Bart Oliver, the youngest church member who lost his life in the shootings, talked with the hardware-store employee on July 20.
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