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Man wanted in Little Wolf River shooting turns himself in

Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 7:21 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2021 at 4:03 PM CDT
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NEW LONDON, Wis. (WBAY) - A man wanted in a shooting at Little Wolf River has turned himself into authorities, according to Waupaca County Sheriff Timothy Wilz.

Wilz tells Action 2 News Cornelius Dupree Russell turned himself into the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. Wilz is sending Waupaca County investigators to Brown County to interview Russell. Brown County’s inmate lookup shows Russell is being held on a probation violation.

The shooting happened Sunday afternoon. Wilz says a fight broke out among a group of people who were on a tubing trip on the Little Wolf River. Wilz said the fight happened over a beer can in the water. The victim was shot in the head and taken to a hospital.

“Apparently they broke into an argument and I just found out that the argument was over a floating can of beer,” said Sheriff Wilz. “The individual did not like the fact that he was littering and the subject and him got into an argument, where he pulled out a pistol and shot the victim in the head. Apparently he said something like ‘like let’s fight like a man’ or something similar to that and he (the suspect) pulled out the pistol and shot him in the head.”

Action 2 News will update this story as we get more information.

PREVIOUS REPORT

UPDATE 4:00 p.m. - Authorities have released more information regarding a shooting late Sunday afternoon during a tubing trip on the Little Wolf River in Waupaca County, which left one person hospitalized.

According to Sheriff Wilz, the shooting happened after a fight broke out among a group of people who were on a tubing trip on the Little Wolf River. Sheriff Wilz told Action 2 News on Monday that the fight which led up to the shooting was about a beer can being littered in the water.

“Apparently they broke into an argument and I just found out that the argument was over a floating can of beer,” said Sheriff Wilz. “The individual did not like the fact that he was littering and the subject and him got into an argument, where he pulled out a pistol and shot the victim in the head. Apparently he said something like ‘like let’s fight like a man’ or something similar to that and he (the suspect) pulled out the pistol and shot him in the head.”

Sheriff Wilz adds there is still no danger to the public, despite the suspect still being on the loose due to the incident being specific to two individuals.

In addition, Wilz says law enforcement has not recovered the pistol, which he said is silver in color. He says they believe the suspect discarded the pistol.

“We have different witnesses telling us different locations where it may be, we have officers out there looking but so far we have not located that weapon,” said Wilz.

Action 2 News also asked Wilz about what they have found with cell phone video or surveillance video due to people being intoxicated at the time.

“With the amount of people going down the river, a lot of people heard the shot but didn’t know where it came from, so unless you were there, you wouldn’t have known it was on the river. We checked, no surveillance video on the river and no one had cell phone obviously because (of being) out on the river.”

He clarified that it is legal to carry on the river, and added there is conflicting information from witnesses.

“You know, some are saying that they knew each other, others say they did not, so we are having some witnesses to be uncooperative at this time,” said Wilz.

Authorities stated Sunday night the suspect ran from the scene following the shooting, and believed the suspect was eventually picked up in a vehicle. According to the Sheriff, the suspect may be in the Green Bay area, and his department is working closely with the Green Bay Police Department.

“According to witnesses he fled the area immediately and was back in Green Bay within the hour,” said Wilz.

Authorities were called to the campground at 4:20 p.m. for a report of a person who was shot in the head by another individual. While the Sheriff’s Office knows the suspect’s name, they say they are not releasing the person’s name in order to protect the witness. Authorities stated Sunday that no one has been arrested, and added the incident is not a homicide.

Sheriff Wilz tells Action 2 News the shooting victim is a 35-year-old Green Bay man, and he has non-life threatening injuries to the head, and according to the hospital, he is in stable condition.

The Sheriff says he believes first responders were able to pinpoint the shooting victim’s location by pinging the cell phone of the caller.

“When the officer arrived (and was) able to pinpoint where victim was, went across a soybean field to get right to victim, EMS (was) shortly behind them with UTV,” said Wilz.

He says the investigation is difficult due to the atmosphere surrounding the incident.

“They started tubing trip at 1:30, they stopped at Party Island and then the shooting at 4:20, so few hours there of drinking and partying,” said Wilz. “Investigators have to sort out what leads are good and what are bad. We are sorting witness statements.”

He adds a vehicle check on every car, with windows down and trunks up, but once they determined the suspect was out of the county and near Green Bay, they began letting vehicles leave one by one.

The Sheriff says the scene was cleared around 8 p.m. when vehicles left, which took a while to do, but police didn’t leave the scene until 10 p.m.

In addition, Wilz says they are still looking for any witnesses to come forward.

“We are looking for any witnesses to come forward or or contact the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office, any video would be helpful or any information on who you think may did it, or any information on where suspect is,” said Sheriff Wilz.

If you have information or video relevant to the shooting, the Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 715-258-4466.

UPDATE 8:40 p.m.: More details are being released following a shooting in Waupaca County on Sunday.

In an interview with Action 2 News Sunday evening, Waupaca County Sheriff Timothy Wilz says one person was flown to a hospital for a gunshot wound to the head.

The victim’s name, age and condition have not been released at this time, but we are told the injury is non-life threatening.

According to Sheriff Wilz, the shooting happened after a fight broke out among a group of people who were on a tubing trip on the Little Wolf River. Sheriff Wilz says they were called to the campground at 4:20 p.m. He says in total, about a dozen officers responded within minutes.

Sheriff Wilz says the suspect ran from the scene following the shooting, and believes the suspect was eventually picked up in a vehicle.

Although authorities know the suspect’s name, they are not releasing it at this time, but add the shooter could be in the Green Bay area.

Authorities say no one has been arrested as of this time, and add the incident is not a homicide.

Serene Pacheco, who witnessed the incident, spoke with Action 2 News early Sunday evening.

“My husband, my kids and I decided to go down the Wolf River this morning,” said Pacheco. “We heard sirens going off and whatever, I didn’t think anything of it because we are by the highway and thought it was an accident or whatever,” said Pacheco. “I thought (an) accident or something like that because accidents happen, it’s the weekend, people are drinking but then we found out it was a shooting, that someone got shot in the head.”

However, officers showed up at the beach, and told the family to leave.

“All of a sudden they said we need to evacuate immediately, so we took our kids back to where we parked and then at that point, they had buses blocking off entrances and exits, like not allowing anyone to leave because they were looking for what happened.”

She adds they didn’t want to tell her kids, who range in age from 7-14 years old, what was going on.

“We didn’t want to tell them what was going on, didn’t want to instill fear, but told them, like hey that’s like when you are at school and do practices and police come in to make sure everyone is safe. That’s kind of what we did and hung out by the truck for an hour or so.”

During our interview with Pacheco, she said authorities started to let everyone leave, and they had been there for more than an hour and a half. She says they were hanging out in the main parking lot because of the buses out there not letting anyone leave.

We asked Pacheco if she ever felt like she or her family was in danger.

“I would say no because of the response of officers who showed up. The entire time with my kids, I felt safe. I called family, let them know this is what happened.”

She adds her kids understand serious situations.

“When we got back to the truck, I said this isn’t a drill, this is a serious thing like you practice in school, but we have to be serious. If something happens where me or dad tell you this has to happen, you need to do this, it’s not a practice, it’s serious. Thankfully we didn’t have a serious situation at the vehicle, but me as a parent, I mean I am worried,” said Pacheco. “It puts into perspective - do your kids know what to do in an emergency situation, because things are different when I grew up, like my biggest worry was a fire or tornado or something like that. You don’t think this is going to happen, we live in a small town, this can’t happen to me.”

Pacheco also said a ThedaStar helicopter was spotted at the scene.

Action 2 News will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

INITIAL REPORT 7:20 p.m.: Authorities are investigating a shooting in Waupaca County.

The Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the incident with Action 2 News early Sunday evening, saying the incident happened on the Little Wolf River tubing trip.

According to the Sheriff, a search for the shooter is currently underway. Authorities have not given a description of the suspect.

No one has been arrested as of this time.

The Sheriff adds the incident is not a homicide.

A witness tells Action 2 News a ThedaStar helicopter was at the scene.

No other details were immediately provided.

Action 2 News has a crew on the way to the scene, and will update this story as more information becomes available.

Scene of shooting in Waupaca County
Scene of shooting in Waupaca County(WBAY Staff)

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