Lawsuit by Families of Crandon Victims against City, County Dismissed

By: Mikel Lauber Email
By: Mikel Lauber Email

The lawsuit against the City of Crandon and Forest County by the lone survivor and families of the victims of the 2007 Crandon shootings has been dismissed. A judge handed down that decision in Forest County Circuit Court last week.

In 2007, off-duty Forest County deputy and Crandon Police Officer Tyler Peterson shot and killed 6 people and wounded a seventh at a house party, before taking his life. In the lawsuit, the families were asking for damages and a change in the way prospective law enforcement officers are screened before being hired.

Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Mark Mangerson denied the claim, stating the City and County could not be held responsible for Peterson's actions. He says that it would not be possible to "require agencies to absolutely guarantee the mental health of all officers hired, as opposed to merely following the hiring guidelines already imposed by the legislature and the LESB."

In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs claimed Peterson's mental instability led to the shootings, and should have been recognized under Wisconsin's Law Enforcement Standards, specifically:

LES 2.01(1)(g) The applicant shall be free from any physical, emotional
or mental condition which might adversely affect performance of
duties as a law enforcement, tribal law enforcement, jail or secure
detention officer.
1. The applicant shall complete a personal medical history, a
copy of which is to be submitted to the examining physician.
2. The examination shall be by a Wisconsin licensed physician who shall provide a written report on the results of the

In his decision, Judge Mangerson states these guidelines were followed when Peterson was hired. "There is simply no test or screening process that can absolutely guarantee the mental health of an agency's law enforcement officers. The Plaintiffs' proposed interpretation of LES 2.01(1)(g) is therefore unreasonable", the decision reads. He later states, "Allowing these claims to proceed would place too high a burden on law enforcement agencies."

Crandon Lawsuit

Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to
Please provide detailed information.
All comments must adhere to the discussion rules.

powered by Disqus
WSAW-TV 1114 Grand Ave. Wausau, WI 54403
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 90104822 -
Gray Television, Inc.