The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in Wisconsin. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.
The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Calvin C. Eldridge PENDING
Date: May 7, 2018
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On May 7, 2018, concealed handgun permit holder Calvin C. Eldridge, 49, allegedly shot and killed his neighbor, Victor B. Reynolds, 54, following a fight. The men had a history of disputes over issues such as loud music and the slamming of doors. Eldridge told police that while he and Reynolds were fighting he thought Reynolds was going for Eldridge’s gun. Eldridge then pistol whipped Reynolds in the head approximately five times. He told police he then shot Reynolds to free himself. Eldridge was charged with second degree reckless homicide.
Source: “Man accused of shooting, killing neighbor pleads not guilty, heads to trial,” channel3000.com, June 7, 2018; “UPDATE: Suspected shooter claims self defense following death of Portage man,” www.wkow.com, May 7, 2018.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Amontre O. Ross PENDING
Date: January 25, 2017
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On January 25, 2017, concealed handgun permit holder Amontre O. Ross, 28, allegedly shot and killed D’Andre Morehouse, 27, at a residence in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. According to the criminal complaint, Ross, Morehouse, and another friend were sitting in the living room when Ross picked up a handgun, pistol-whipped Morehouse, and then pulled the trigger. When the gun did not fire, Ross racked the pistol and shot Morehouse repeatedly, killing him. The friend ran from the house and called 911, telling police the shooting was “unprovoked.” He later told police Ross had been displaying erratic behavior and had paranoid thoughts recently, including claiming LeBron James and Bill Gates were “after him.” Ross was charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide.
UPDATE: On December 14, 2017, Amontre Ross was ordered committed for treatment for incompetency after a doctor testified that Ross was incompetent to proceed, but was likely to become competent. The court ruled that Ross must be re-examined every three months.
Source: “Man ordered committed after ‘unprovoked’ fatal shooting near 80th and Beechwood in January,” fox6now.com, December 14, 2017; “Milwaukee man charged in killing of MATC student-athlete,” www.jsonline.com, January 31, 2017.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: James Clinton Atterberry, Jr. CONVICTED
Date: October 15, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On October 15, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder James Clinton Atterberry, 26, allegedly shot and killed Ronnie McMillon, Jr., 26. According to the criminal complaint, Atterberry and McMillon, who had been staying at the same residence in Kenosha, began arguing about Atterberry having a gun. The argument became more heated and Atterberry shot McMillon multiple times with a 9mm Glock pistol. Atterberry was charged with first-degree reckless homicide.
UPDATE: In April 2017, Atterberry’s first degree reckless homicide trial ended with a deadlocked jury and a mistrial was declared. The charge against Atterberry was amended to second degree reckless homicide, and he plead guilty to that charge on April 20, 2017. On May 26, 2017, Atterberry was sentenced to 12 years in prison plus an additional seven years of extended supervision.
Source: “James Atterberry sentenced to 12 years in prison in murder of Ronnie McMillon,” fox6now.com, May 26, 2017; “Concealed carry permit-holders charged in Milwaukee shootings,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 19, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Not identified PENDING
Date: April 1, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On April 1, 2016, an unidentified concealed handgun permit holder, 35, allegedly shot and killed Odyssus Henry, 67, following a workplace dispute at Transit Express, where both men worked. According to police, Henry had noticed that tools were disappearing from the shop, so he used his cell phone to record video of the facility after hours. The video showed a co-worker allowing his friends into the shop, before the phone went missing. The suspect in the shooting confronted Henry about the phone on the morning of the shooting. The two men got into an argument and Henry threw a punch. The suspect then took a gun from his locker and allegedly shot Henry twice. The shooter was taken into custody.
Source: “Employee shot dead by colleague, police say,” wisn.com, April 1, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Octavia W. Dodson CONVICTED
Date: March 25, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On March 25, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Octavia W. Dodson, 28, allegedly shot and killed Deshun T. Freeman, 21. Just before 11:00 PM on March 25, several people called 911 to report hearing gunshots. Dodson was among the callers, telling police that he had shot a man who he claimed had pulled a gun on him. Dodson told police he was armed, had left the scene, and would turn himself in to police. Milwaukee’s ShotSpotter system detected six shots near the intersection of N. 10th Street and W. Concordia Avenue. Investigators found two bullet holes in a house at that location. Officers found Freeman lying face down in the street, having been shot three times, including once in the head. No firearms were found with Freeman. A green Buick Park Avenue was parked nearby with the engine running and the headlights on. Officers went to a home a block away to meet Dodson, who directed officers to a 9mm pistol. Next to the pistol was a 17 round magazine, loaded with 11 rounds. Dodson told police that he was driving when he was rear-ended while stopped at a red light by a blue Buick with bluish purple window tint. He claimed that when he got out to inspect the damage the other car kept driving. Dodson said that as he continued driving, a car came speeding up behind him before pulling over and parking at the side of the road. Dodson said he recognized the car as the one that hit him so he pulled over as well. Dodson then claimed a man got out of the car, yelled an expletive and ran toward him with his hands in his pockets. Dodson initially told investigators he fired from inside his car, but later said he left his car and shot the man from a standing position. Police noted discrepancies between Dodson’s description of the car that struck him and the car found at the scene and were investigating whether any accident took place at all. Dodson was charged with homicide.
UPDATE: On July 18, 2016, Octavia Dodson pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the death of Deshun Freeman.
Source: “Octavia Dodson pleads guilty in fatal shooting over car accident,” cbs58.com, July 18, 2016; “Concealed-carry permit holder charged in shooting death,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 4, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Shanika S. Minor CONVICTED
Date: March 6, 2016
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On March 6, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Shanika S. Minor, 25, shot and killed her mother’s neighbor, Tamecca Perry, 23, following an argument about loud music. Perry was nine months pregnant at the time of the shooting and her unborn child did not survive. On March 5, Minor was at her mother’s house and got into an argument with Perry whom she felt had disrespected her mother in an earlier argument over loud music. Minor challenged Perry to a fight and fired several shots in the air before her mother convinced her to leave. Minor returned a few hours later and resumed her argument with Perry at around 3 AM on March 6. Minor’s mother got between the two women who had known each other since eighth grade, but Minor reached over her mother and shot Perry in the chest. Perry died at the scene. Minor pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree reckless homicide and was sentenced to 30 years in prison plus 10 years on supervision, on each count, to be served concurrently. The judge in the case questioned whether lax concealed carry laws had made the community safer, noting that several people licensed to legally carry guns had been in court for shootings and homicides. “Some involved self-defense, the majority did not,” he stated. He observed that many were “looking for trouble.” When Minor’s attorney said that Minor did not take the gun specifically to the confrontation, but always carried it, the judge replied, “Even worse….Now we have everyone running around armed to the teeth, thinking they can solve every dispute by firing off a few rounds.” He called Minor’s case a new low, noting that he’d heard of people taking out a gun in a fist fight, but Minor had brought a gun to a verbal disagreement.
Source: “Milwaukee woman gets 30 years for slaying over loud music as judge questions concealed carry,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 24, 2017.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Amy Van Wagner CONVICTED
Date: May 17, 2015
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On May 17, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Amy Van Wagner allegedly shot and killed her husband Stanley Van Wagner in their home. On that day, Amy Van Wagner went to a neighbor’s house and asked for help, saying that she had found her husband unresponsive in the basement. The neighbor saw her husband lying on the basement floor covered in a tarp and called police. According to police, responding officers found Stanley Van Wagner suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators also found a computer and pillow near his body with bullet holes in them. Amy Van Wagner claimed that she went to the basement to start a load of laundry when she found her husband. Upon searching the home, investigators found two shell casings in an office upstairs along with blood, a hole in the drywall, and an empty leather handgun holster lying on the floor near a gun safe. Investigators later found two fired .380 bullets in the office, and a large blood stain under an ottoman and rug in the basement. Investigators noted that it “appeared someone placed the rug over the blood stain to conceal it.” Investigators learned that Amy Van Wagner sometimes carried a .380 handgun, and all of the fired bullets and shell casings found at the scene had characteristics similar to her weapon. Investigators noted that it appeared that Stanley Van Wagner had been shot in the upstairs office and then dragged downstairs to the basement, where his body was “found” by Amy Van Wagner. On February 24, 2016, Amy Van Wagner was arrested and charged with first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.
UPDATE: On March 13, 2017, Amy Van Wagner was found guilty of first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in the death of her husband.
Source: “Amy Van Wagner found GUILTY in death of husband, Stanley Van Wagner,” fox6now.com, March 13, 2017; “Amy Van Wagner expected to make plea in shooting death of husband,” fox6now.com, March 14, 2016.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Do Thao CONVICTED
Date: July 25, 2014
People Killed: 2
Circumstances: On July 25, 2014, concealed handgun permit holder Do Thao, 23, allegedly shot and killed Beelee Chang and Jack Yang while they were seated in a vehicle. Chang was shot in the back of the head and died at the scene, while Yang was shot twice in the back of his neck and once in the shoulder and died at a hospital two days later. After the shooting, the car Chang and Yang were in traveled forward and collided with a building. Police officers responding to the shooting found Thao hiding in the bushes nearby. According to police, Thao told officers, “I had to do it, they ain’t right.” Thao later told officers that he had been drinking beer on the night of the shooting and “did not remember what happened.” He told officers that “he did have his CCW permit with him.” Thao was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and use of a dangerous weapon. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.
UPDATE: On May 1, 2015, Do Thao was sentenced to 42 years in prison and 18 years probation for the murders of Bee Lee Chang and Jack Yang.
Source: “Concealed Carry Permitholder Sentenced to 42 Years for Double Milwaukee Homicide,”mediamilwaukee.com, May 3, 2015;“Milwaukee man accused of shooting, killing two people near 51st and Lisbon,” fox6now.com, July 28, 2014.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Phillip K. Green CONVICTED
Date: May 25, 2013
People Killed: 1
Circumstances: On May 25, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Phillip K. Green, 40, shot Ernest Banks, 26, in the face with his 40 caliber handgun, killing him. Green, Banks, and two other men had met earlier that evening at one bar, drove together to another, and then planned to go to a strip club. When Green said that he didn’t want to go to the strip club and instead wished to be dropped off at his car, Banks took offense. He stopped the car the four men were traveling in, pulled Green from the back seat, and began hitting him. During the attack, Green pulled his handgun and shot Banks. Green, who had obtained his concealed carry permit a few months earlier, then called police. In his closing argument, the Assistant District Attorney stated that Green “wasn’t protecting his life, he was firing back in anger”and that he had used lethal force in what was clearly a “fist fight.” When asked why he had a gun that night, Green said that he always carried it with him when he was alone. When it was pointed out that he had not been alone that night, Green said that he had left his handgun in his car when the group had met at the first bar, but that when they left together he took the gun with him, fearing it might be stolen from his vehicle. Green was found guilty of first-degree reckless homicide while armed with a deadly weapon and faces a sentence of up to 45 years.
Source: “Jury convicts Milwaukee concealed-carry permit holder in fatal shooting,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, January 8, 2014.