Terry Michael Ratzmann
April 29, 1960
|Died||March 12, 2005 (aged 44)|
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Date||March 12, 2005|
|Killed||8 (including himself)|
|Weapons||Beretta 92FS (9mm)|
Terry Michael Ratzmann (April 29, 1960 – March 12, 2005) was an American mass murderer who killed seven members of his Church congregation, the Living Church of God (LCG), before committing suicide at a Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin in 2005.
Previously living with his mother and sister, Ratzmann was known as an avid gardener who often shared his homegrown produce with the church congregation and had a passion for carnivorous plants. He was a computer technician with a placement firm and his contract was ending. Ratzmann was known to suffer from bouts of depression, and was reportedly infuriated by a sermon the minister had given two weeks earlier.
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, including the minister's wife, 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 and the police investigated religious issues as potential motives for the shooting, though no official conclusion has been reached.
- Pastor Randy Gregory, 50
- James Gregory, 16
- Harold Diekmeier, 72
- Gloria Critari, 55
- Bart Oliver, 15
- Richard Reeves, 58
- Gerald Miller, 44
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 as well as a mild congenital heart abnormality, and was missing part of three fingers on his left hand, the result of a much earlier injury.
- "RATZMANN, HELEN thru RATZOW, WILLIAM". sortedbyname.com. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- Dorfman, Dan. "8 are shot at church gathering". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- Ratzmann, Terry. "Carnivorous Plants!". RavenWood Farms Home Page. Archive of Ratzmann's personal website. Archived from the original on August 30, 2004. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- Wilgoren, Jodi (March 13, 2005). "Police Search for Answers in Wisconsin Shooting". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- Wilgoren, Jodi (March 14, 2005). "After Shootings in Wisconsin, a Community Asks 'Why?'". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- Wilgoren, Jodi (March 15, 2005). "Police Focus on Religion in Milwaukee Shootings". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- Banerjee, Neela (March 18, 2005). "Rampage Puts Spotlight on a Church Community". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- "Motive Still Unclear in Milwaukee Church Shooting". The New York Times. Associated Press. August 3, 2005. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- Dorfman, Dan (March 13, 2005). "Gunman Kills 7 in Wisconsin Church Group". NYTimes Online. The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
- "Medical examiner releases autopsy findings". The Journal. News of the Churches of God. Retrieved January 24, 2012.