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Hunting Fatality

By: Anna Wagnild
By: Anna Wagnild

The Monroe County Sheriff's Department says the suspect in the shooting death of a 17-year-old La Crosse teen was trespassing on private property. The identity of the victim has not been released by the Sheriff's Department, per request of the family.

Investigators say the suspect, who is in custody, was using a 22 caliber rifle to hunt small game. The suspect is 24-year-old Russell Schroeder of rural Sparta, who had left a neighboring property where he was authorized to hunt.

Investigators say the 17-year-old victim wasn't hunting Saturday, but was instead taking pictures of the wooded area from a tree stand. He had separated from his party hunting in the area, and when he didn't return, they reported him missing. Search dogs found the 17-year-old's body around 10:30 Saturday night.

"Initially this could have been classified as a hunting accident," says Sheriff Peter Quirin. "But because the suspect left the scene and didn't report it to anybody, it classifies it as a homicide."

Investigators say a tip from a nearby homeowner led them to Schroeder, who cooperated with questioning and confessed involvement in the incident.

Schroeder is expected to make an initial appearance in Monroe County court Tuesday afternoon to face a second degree reckless homicide charge.


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