Wisconsin judge’s alleged killer, who had political ‘hit list’, is identified

Wisconsin judge’s alleged killer, who had political ‘hit list’, is identified
Judge reportedly presided over burglary trial which sent suspected gunman to jail for six years

Wisconsin officials have identified Douglas K. Uhde, 56, as the suspected shooter of a retired judge on Friday, according to the state’s Department of Justice.

Juneau County Circuit Court Judge John Roemer, 68, was found dead at his New Lisbon, Wisconsin, home on Friday evening. Officers discovered the retired judge zip-tied to a chair with gunshot wounds.

Udhe is hospitalized in critical condition after a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

The alleged gunman was convicted in 2005 of armed burglary and has a previous weapons charge on his record. Judge Roemer presided over the burglary trial where Uhde was sentenced to six years in prison, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

The Independent has contacted the Wisconsin court system for comment.

The suspected gunman reportedly had a political “hit list” of targets in his car, according to local outlet WISN, including US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, and Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers.

Officials said only that those on the list have been briefed and were not in danger. The Independent has contact lead investigators, the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, for comment.

Police are investigating Judge Roemer’s death as a homicide and an act of domestic terrorism. Police dispatch audio indicated that Judge Roemer’s son may have been home when the shooting occured.

“This does appear to be a targeted act,” Wisconsin attorney general Josh Kaul said on Friday.

“The individual who is the suspect appears to have had other targets as well. It appears to be related to the judicial system.”

A spokesperson for Governor Evers said his office does not comment on matters related to his security. The Independent has contacted Speaker McConnell’s offices, and the office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms for comment.

“While the news reports are deeply troubling, we will not comment further on an ongoing criminal investigation,” a Whitmer spokesperson told ABC News.

Governor Whitmer was the target of a prior kidnapping plot in 2020 by militia members who described her as a “tyrant” for her Covid-19 policies. The men planned to kidnap the Michigan governor from a vacation home, put her through a show “treason trial”, and release her into Lake Michigan on a boat.

In April two of the accused were released following a mistrial and two others were found not guilty. Their attorneys argued they had only been boasting about a plot, and were enticed into a conspiracy by FBI informants.

On Friday, police arrived at Judge Roemer’s home after a 911 caller reported hearing two shots from inside the property.

“The son is saying that he woke up, saw a male subject with a firearm—a pistol, said that the subject did not see him and we was able to exit the house through a window,” a 911 dispatcher said, according to reports.

A SWAT team attempted to negotiate with the shooter, before entering the home four hours later, according to the attorney general.

Roemer, before becoming a judge, served as a prosecutor, public defender, and US Army reservist.

The shooting follows a spate of shocking gun violence across the US. In the space of several weeks there have been mass shootings at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York; a school in Uvalde, Texas; and a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The number of threats against judges has increased in recent years, according to data from US Marshals.

US District Judge Esther Salas’s son Daniel Anderl was shot dead at their family home in New Jersey in 2020 in a racially motivated attack. Self-described “antifeminist” lawyer Roy Den Hollander posed as a FedEx delivery driver before shooting Anderl. The attorney was later found dead with an apparently self-inflicted gunshout wound.

Judge Salas has been pushing for a federal bill to limit the amount of personal information available about public officials after New Jersey passed a similar state bill, known as as Daniel’s Law.