Wisconsin man opens fire on family after fight with girlfriend

Reuters News
Posted: May 04, 2015 2:34 PM

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - A Wisconsin man, who had just been in a fight with his girlfriend, armed himself with two guns, cycled to a scenic bridge and opened fire, killing a father and his daughter along with another man before taking his own life, police said on Monday.

Sergio Daniel Valencia del Toro, 27, killed Jonathan Stoffel, 33, his daughter Olivia, 11, and Adam Bentdahl, 31, and critically wounded Erin Stoffel, 32, police said.

The shooting happened on Sunday evening on the Trestle Trail bridge in Menasha, about 35 miles southwest of Green Bay, Menasha Police Chief Tim Styka said.

"The shooter shot all four victims unprovoked and at close range," Styka told a news conference.

Despite being shot three times, Erin Stoffel got herself and her two other small children off the bridge and told her 7-year-old son to go get help, Styka said.

She is in critical condition at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah after surgery, authorities said. Del Toro shot himself after shooting the others and died later at the hospital.

Some 75 people were on the Trestle Trail bridge, which spans the Little Lake Butte des Morts, enjoying the scenic views on a pleasant evening when the man opened fire.

"It could have been a lot worse," Styka said.

Del Toro was a student at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Del Toro, who had served in the U.S. Air Force, had recently enlisted in the Army and had begun training as a member of the unarmed auxiliary unit of the Menasha Police Department, Styka said.

Authorities said del Toro and his girlfriend called off their wedding about a week earlier and got into an argument at an apartment in Menasha on Sunday afternoon. After she left, he headed to the bridge with two hundguns, they said.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Sandra Maler)