WI, MADISON – A tree in Brooklyn may have caused a simmering argument to explode on Tuesday morning, resulting in a shooting and police requesting that people stay away from the downtown area. In addition, the village’s polling location for the spring primary was moved within hours of opening due to the law police response.
According to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, the argument between the proprietors of two companies on Hotel Street sprang from differences about what to do with a sizable tree on one of the properties. The conflict persisted for some time and led to the making of “serious threats.” The Green County Sheriff’s Office, which oversaw the investigation, provided another update and said the suspect is said to have fired a shot.
Deputies from Green County Sheriff Jeff Skatrud’s office responded to a reported incident downtown shortly after 7 a.m. Reports of a gunshot being fired during the altercation quickly followed. Members of the Madison Police Department and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office were also called, and the sheriff’s office secured the area. While they searched for the suspect, authorities asked the public to stay away from the area.
Election authorities were forced to transfer to their backup venue as a result of the law enforcement response restricting access to the village’s polling facility at the Community Building. Dane County Clerk Scott McDonell tweeted at around 8:30 a.m. that they would relocate all of their voting equipment to the Village Public Works Building, located at 102 Windy Lane.
The Village of Brooklyn has successfully moved and reopened their polling location to 102 Windy Lane as of 9:30 am. They will petition the Court to remain open an additional hour and a half to compensate for the closure and moving time to the new location.
— Scott McDonell (@samcdonell) February 21, 2023
Because it took so long to transfer everything, the polls will remain open for an additional hour and a half, until 9:30 p.m. At the village’s spring primary, which featured a contest for village president in 2019, 37 individuals cast ballots.
Although the village clerk’s office had a contingency plan in place as is customary, Linda Kuhlman noted that this was the first occasion in her eight years in office that it had actually been used. She continued by assuring voters that their votes are still secure despite the change.
“(The voting machine) is transported with two of our workers so that the chain of custody is secure so that everybody voted before we moved, are still safe and secure,” she said. “I have great poll workers and I thank the public works department too because they helped move everything down here.”
The suspect, a 75-year-old male, was discovered in the neighboring state of Oregon shortly before 10 a.m. He had already fled downtown Brooklyn, according to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, when authorities arrived.
The tree has been encroaching into the basement of the Anchor Club’s co-owner, according to NBC15 News, but the owner of the land where the tree is located does not want it to be cut down. The company, Bev’s Bespoke Sewing, has evolved from the tree as well.
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The owner of the Anchor Club alleged that her counterpart arrived outside armed after spotting a tree service on the street. The proprietor of the arborist business visible on the street noted that he had previously been questioned about the tree but had never been asked to take it down.
Brooklyn Elementary School and Heart of Brooklyn also implemented their secure hold policies as a result of the circumstance. The district acknowledged that as the emergency subsided, regular operations were resumed.