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Associated Press - August 1, 2008 10:53 AM ET

NIAGARA, Wis. (AP) - An official says the massive search for a camouflaged gunman who fatally shot three young people from Michigan along the Menominee River in Wisconsin is over.
Marinette County Emergency Management Director Eric Burmeister says a suspected gunman was taken into custody shortly before 10 a.m. EDT today.
Sheriff's authorities say a man armed with a military-style assault rifle shot and killed three Michigan teenagers and wounded a 20-year-old Michigan man yesterday evening as a group of young people gathered to go swimming near the Wisconsin-Michigan border near Niagara, Wisconsin.
More than 100 law enforcement officers from at least 10 local and state agencies had searched the area for the gunman.

http://www.wwlp.com/Global/story.asp?S=8773111
 

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Woman says man held in Wis. shootings raped her



Fri Aug 1, 5:33 PM ET

This image provided Friday, Aug. 1, 2008 by the Marinette County Jail shows Scott J. Johnson. Johnson, 38, of Iron Mountain, Mich., was arrested on Friday for the shooting deaths of three teenagers after opening fire with an assault rifle on a group of young swimmers.(AP Photo/Marinette County Jail)

By JAMES A. CARLSON, Associated Press Writer

MILWAUKEE - A woman said a man suspected of opening fire on a group of young adults, killing three, had raped her the night before in the same northern Wisconsin woods where the victims were slain.
The woman said she told her parents about the assault, and they reported it to authorities. She said officers came to her home late Thursday, mentioned the shootings that occurred earlier that day along a riverbank in the town of Niagara - near the same spot where she claimed to have been sexually assaulted - and asked her to describe her attacker.
The suspect, whom the woman described as a casual friend, was arrested Friday after he emerged from the woods following an all-night manhunt.
Scott J. Johnson, 38, was being held in jail Friday night to await an initial court appearance. He had not been formally charged in the shootings.
Authorities did not return calls seeking comment on whether the reported rape was related to the shootings. Jail officials did not know whether Johnson had an attorney.
The 24-year-old woman told The Associated Press in a phone interview Friday night that she met her attacker in December while shopping. The AP does not name people alleging sexual assault without their consent.
The woman said the two struck up a conversation and later bumped into each other occasionally in Kingsford, Mich. Kingsford and nearby Niagara are about 210 miles north of Milwaukee, along the Menominee River, which separates Wisconsin from Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
"We just became friends - not good friends, just friends," the woman said. "If he rode past on his bike, if he saw me working in the garden, he would stop and say hi."
On Wednesday evening, the man she knew only as "Scott" stopped and asked if she wanted to go for a bike ride, she said, then he led her down a remote road to a place he had taken her about a month earlier without incident.
"Scott told me that a lot of teenagers go down there, but I didn't know anything about that," she said.
The place was along the Menominee River, near a railroad bridge, which the two crossed to reach the Wisconsin shore.
When they went into the woods, the woman said, the man shoved her to the ground and raped her as she tried to fight him off. They later walked out of the woods and back across the bridge and to their bikes, then rode away, she said.
"I was trying to act as calm as I could," the woman said. "I didn't want to try to run away. Who knows what he would have done if I did?"
Police came to her home the next night. "They wanted me to describe what this guy looked like," she said.
By then, a massive manhunt was under way for the gunman in the riverbank shootings. More than 100 law enforcers from at least 10 agencies searched for him.
Johnson was dressed in camouflage when deputies confronted him the next morning. He dropped his assault rifle as officers approached.
Authorities in Wisconsin's Marinette County listed his address as Iron Mountain, Mich. But a protection order that the woman obtained Friday morning against Johnson said he lived in nearby Kingsford, about four blocks from her.

The order prohibits Johnson from following the woman, appearing at her home or work, or threatening her. It includes details from the woman's account of the alleged rape.
Authorities have not released any information about Johnson.
A woman who answered the door at a Kingsford residence and identified herself as Johnson's mother said she was too distraught to speak with a reporter. "They're not telling me nothing," she said tearfully.
Johnson's accuser said she learned his last name Thursday afternoon by checking the address where she knew he lived with his mother and a brother.
The woman said she believed he was unemployed, and he told her he had joined the military after graduating from high school.
"Up until Wednesday night, he seemed like a normal, nice guy," she said.
Investigators have not determined a motive in the shootings.
Sheriff Jim Kanikula said there was no communication between the gunman and his victims. He said the shooter was only 7 to 10 feet from one victim when he fired.
The dead were identified as Tiffany Pohlson, 17; Anthony Spigarelli, 18; and Bryan Mort, 19. A fourth victim, 20-year-old Daniel Louis Gordon, was wounded. All were from Michigan.
About 250 people, many of them in their teens, attended a vigil Friday night at First Covenant Church in Iron Mountain.
Among them was 16-year-old Brittany Gunville, who said she was at the river with friends until about 15 minutes before the shootings. She said one of her friends, who was driving, had to leave.
"My friend had to work otherwise we would have still been there," she said as she and other young people hugged and consoled each other.
___ Associated Press writer Dinesh Ramde in Niagara contributed to this report.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080802/ap_on_re_us/wisconsin_shooting
 

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Suspect in deaths of 3 Wis. teens pleads insanity

MARINETTE, Wis. -- A Michigan man accused in a shooting rampage that killed three teenage swimmers at a river on the Wisconsin-Michigan border pleaded insanity to 10 felonies Friday, including new counts that he tried to kill six other teens.
Scott J. Johnson, 38, of Kingsford, Mich., had been charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide. The criminal complaint was amended Thursday to also charge him with six counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and one count of second-degree sexual assault.
Prosecutors say Johnson went to the Menominee River on July 31 and opened fire on a group of swimmers, killing Tiffany Pohlson, 17, Anthony Spigarelli, 18, and Bryan Mort, 19, all from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The attempted homicide counts relate to six other teens who were also at the river; one of them suffered a superficial shrapnel wound in his back.
Police say Johnson confessed that he sexually assaulted a woman a day before the shootings.
According to the original criminal complaint, Johnson said he decided he had "nothing to lose" when he learned after the sexual assault that police were looking for him. Authorities say he said he had planned to kill law-enforcement officers who came to the scene of the shootings, but instead turned himself in the next morning.
With the insanity pleas, Johnson would have to prove to a jury through medical experts that he didn't know right from wrong in the crimes because he suffered a mental disease or defect and cannot be held responsible for his behavior.
"In this serious of a case, you can't leave any stone unturned," Leonard Kachinsky, Johnson's attorney, said about the rare insanity pleas. "We want to get a psychiatric exam to see if there was a basis for that defense."
If found insane, he would be sent to a mental hospital until doctors determined he was safe to re-enter society. If found sane and guilty of the charges, he would be sent to prison for life.
Kachinsky said Johnson does not have an "extensive record" of hospitalization for psychiatric illnesses. But he said his client has a behavior pattern of isolation back in the family home after his divorce that suggests he might have undiagnosed depression.
District Attorney Brent DeBord did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
Judge Tim Duket ordered attorneys in the case to make recommendations to him on mental health doctors who they want to examine Johnson. The judge set a hearing on that matter Sept. 10.
A four-week trial is scheduled to begin March 16. With Johnson's insanity pleas, there would be two phases. The first would determine whether he was guilty of the crimes. If found guilty, the trial would then move to a second phase, the insanity evidence.
The original criminal complaint characterizes Johnson as a disaffected man who had thought about committing a random shooting for four or five years. Johnson told investigators he stashed weapons in the woods at least a year ago in preparation.
Johnson's mother, Judy Johnson, has said her son was honorably discharged from the Army in 1994 and has been unemployed. She described him as despondent since his wife left him in 2001 and took their two children with her.

http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/national/BO87271/
 
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