Hmong Leaders Offer Condolences To Hunters' Families

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Leaders of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Hmong community expressed their sympathies Tuesday to the families of the six victims of Sunday's shootings in Sawyer County, Wisconsin.

Leaders said the Hmong community unconditionally condemns the killings, and said the attacks in no way represent the Hmong people and what they stand for.

The prime suspect is a 36-year-old Hmong-American from St. Paul, who is accused to firing on a group of hunters killing six and wounding two. He is is the Sawyer County jail at Hayward, Wisconsin.

Some Hmong expressed fears of backlashes. Both Minnesota and Wisconsin, including Eau Claire, have large Hmong populations. Immigrants from Laos have long traditions of hunting.

The dispute began over the suspect's presence in a tree stand on private property. He was ordered to leave, but police say he returned and began firing on the hunters. All were from the Barron county area and the Rice Lake area.