Police testify about coming under fire at motorcycle shop standoff

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - "All hell broke loose. We started receiving a heavy volume of gunfire towards our location," Neenah Police Officer Jonathan Kuffel told a Winnebago County jury Tuesday.

Brian Flatoff arrives at court for his trial. March 5, 2018 (WBAY)

Testimony continued for a second day at the Brian Flatoff trial with police officers taking the stand, describing coming under fire during a standoff at Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah.

Flatoff is charged with 16 counts, including Felony Murder, for the standoff that turned deadly when a hostage fled and was shot by police.

Flatoff is representing himself.

Day two started with Flatoff cross-examining his former friend Vance Dalton. Prosecutors say Flatoff went to Eagle Nation Cycles on Dec. 5, 2015, with the intention of killing Dalton over a motorcycle. Dalton wasn't at the shop that morning.

The state called Dalton to the stand Monday. Dalton denied Flatoff's accusations that he stole the motorcycle. Dalton said he paid $4,500 for the bike -- including the $3,000 bond he paid to get Flatoff out of jail after an OWI arrest.

On Tuesday, Flatoff questioned Dalton about how he obtained the motorcycle. Dalton told the court that Flatoff's ex-wife gave him the title.

Next up, the jury heard from Officer Kuffel, the SWAT team leader who organized the hasty team to enter Eagle Nation and try to rescue the hostages.

Kuffel told the jury his team was immediately met with gunfire upon entering the building.

"I heard the gunfire, I felt the gunfire. I looked down, Officer Hoffer is yelling, 'I'm hit.' I looked down, my other two guys, Lt. Thompson and O'Brea were gone. I had no idea where they went. They weren't standing up, I was basically standing by myself. Officer Hoffer was to my right, laying on the ground grabbing his head saying he was hit. At that point I feared for my life and the rest of my teammates so I used target specific directed fire towards individuals."

Police were cleared of wrongdoing for shooting hostage Michael Funk. Prosecutors are charging Flatoff for being responsible for Funk's death because of the incidents they say he set in motion that day.

With Flatoff representing himself, cross-examination is going much slower than expected. Prosecutors planned to call five witnesses in the morning and ended up bringing six all day.

Judge John Jorgensen urged Flatoff to focus his questioning in attempts to keep the trial moving.

"I get you want to make certain points on these witnesses, but make the point, get there, and then move on, because otherwise you're going to lose the jurors interest," the judge told him.

Follow @EmilyMatesic on Twitter for updates from the courtroom.

















 
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