Terry Ratzmann

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Terry Ratzmann
Terry Ratzmann.jpg
Born 1960
New Berlin, Wisconsin
Died March 12, 2005 (aged 44)
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Cause of death
suicide
Occupation computer technician
Killings
Date March 12, 2005
Location(s) Brookfield, Wisconsin
Killed 7
Injured 4
Weapon(s) Beretta 92FS (9mm)

Terry Michael Ratzmann (1960 – March 12, 2005) was an American mass murderer who killed seven members of the Living Church of God (LCG) before committing suicide at a Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin in 2005.

Background[edit]

Previously living with his mother and sister,[1] Ratzmann was known as an avid gardener who often shared his homegrown produce with the church congregation and had a passion for carnivorous plants.[2] On the verge of losing his job as a computer technician with a placement firm,[3] Ratzmann was known to suffer from bouts of depression,[4] and was reportedly infuriated by a sermon the minister had given two weeks earlier.[5]

Shooting[edit]

Ratzmann had left the Sheraton Hotel building 20 minutes earlier. He then returned carrying a 9mm Beretta handgun and fired 22 rounds into the Living Church of God congregation, killing the minister and six others including the minister's son. Four others were wounded; one critically. Ratzmann shot and killed himself midway through the second out of three magazines.

The incident focused national attention on the teachings and legacy of Herbert W. Armstrong, the Worldwide Church of God and LCG's leader Roderick C. Meredith[6] and the police investigated religious issues as potential motives for the shooting, though no official conclusion has been reached.[7]

Victims[edit]

  • Pastor Randy Gregory, 50
  • James Gregory, 17
  • Harold Diekmeier, 72[8]
  • Gloria Critari, 55
  • Bart Oliver, 15
  • Richard Reeves, 58
  • Gerald Miller, 44

Aftermath[edit]

During the police search of the house that Ratzmann shared with his mother and sister, a .22 rifle, ammunition and three computers were taken away.

The March 13 autopsy revealed that Ratzmann was suffering from Hashimoto's thyroiditis, a mild congenital heart abnormality and was missing part of three fingers on his left hand, the result of a much earlier injury.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dorfman, Dan. "8 are shot at church gathering". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Ratzmann, Terry. "Carnivorous Plants!". RavenWood Farms Home Page. Archive of Ratzmann's personal website. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  3. ^ Wilgoren, Jodi. "Police Search for Answers in Wisconsin Shooting". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Wilgoren, Jodi. "After Shootings in Wisconsin, a Community Asks 'Why?'". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Wilgoren, Jodi. "Police Focus on Religion in Milwaukee Shootings". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  6. ^ Banerjee, Neela. "Rampage Puts Spotlight on a Church Community". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Motive Still Unclear in Milwaukee Church Shooting". Associated Press. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Dorfman, Dan. "Gunman Kills 7 in Wisconsin Church Group". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  9. ^ "Medical examiner releases autopsy findings". The Journal. News of the Churches of God. Retrieved 24 January 2012.