Bond set at $1M for suspect in deadly Abbotsford shooting

Published: Jan. 20, 2018 at 9:28 AM CST
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Bond has been set at $1 million cash for 26-year-old Tyler Zimmerman of Unity.

Zimmerman is charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted first degree intentional homicide and three counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety.

The Colby-Abbotsford Police Chief said two people, Cierra Hardrath, 21 and Duane Lopez Jr., 25, were killed and one person, Megan Dupee, 18 was injured following a shooting early Saturday morning. The shooting happened on the 400 block of East Maple Street in Abbotsford.

Police say they got a call from Dupee about the shooting minutes after 3 a.m. When officers responded, they found the two people dead.

Chief Jason Bauer said the sole suspect, Tyler Zimmerman, 26 was found near the crime scene and was taken into custody. He said Zimmerman was Hardrath's live-in boyfriend. He is being held in the Marathon County Jail.

Zimmerman told police he believed Hardrath was cheating on him. Zimmerman said Friday, Hardrath told him she was going to watch a movie at a friend's house and she left their home in Owen around 8 p.m.

Zimmerman told police he did not believe her, so he checked her Facebook Messager and found she was having conversations with other men. He explained he tracked Hardrath's phone using the "Find My Phone" app on her tablet, then drove to the home on the 400 block of East Maple Street in Abbotsford.

According to police, the home belongs to Hardrath's ex-boyfriend, Parker Knautz. Knautz told police Hardrath had come to visit him and his two children. He said she eventually went to sleep in his bed, but he went to his children's room, as they were calling for him, and ultimately fell asleep there.

Once Zimmerman got to the home, Duane Lopez Jr., 25, a tenant at the home, answered the door. Zimmerman asked for Hardrath, but Lopez Jr. said he did not know her. Eventually he let him in and led him to the bedroom where she was sleeping.

Zimmerman said he talked with Hardrath and referenced cheating, then shot her in the head. Panicked, he said he turned around and shot the person standing in the doorway, Lopez Jr. On his way out, he shot Lopez Jr.'s fiance, Megan Dupee, 18.

Zimmerman said he drove to his work to try to tell his boss everything. He left a voicemail on his phone saying he was sorry and he messed up. Zimmerman then wrote a Facebook post saying, "Farewell everyone, I'm sorry for all that I have hurt from this..." During this time, Dupee called 911 and police arrested Zimmerman shortly after near the home.

Police spoke with Zimmerman's boss who told them Zimmerman purchased a handgun a few months ago when Zimmerman and Hardrath seemed to be having issues. He prefaced he did not believe the purchase was unusual at the time.

Investigators asked Zimmerman if he knew he was going to shoot Hardrath when he got to the home. Zimmerman respond, "kind of, in a way."

Knautz and his children were not harmed during the shootings. Dupee is recovering from her injuries. The only person who knew Zimmerman inside the home was Hardrath.

The courtroom, Monday was filled with those affected by the shootings. Zimmerman will find out if his case will head to trial next week.

Chief Bauer says the Colby-Abbotsford Police Department and the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division are leading the investigation into the shooting, with the help of the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, State Patrol’s reconstruction team, Marathon County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

Press Release from Colby Abbotsford Police Department regarding the homicide on January 20, 2018.

Posted by Marathon County Sheriff's Office on Monday, January 22, 2018

On January 20, 2018 at 3:02 a.m. Marathon County Communications received a 911 call of a shooting at 406 East Maple...

Posted by Marathon County Sheriff's Office on Saturday, January 20, 2018