Husband taken at gunpoint

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August 23, 2008
— Shaun Vordermann had barricaded himself into his home and had to be ordered to the ground at gunpoint when police took him into custody Saturday night, according to Edgerton police reports obtained by The Janesville Gazette.

Vordermann reportedly was suicidal, and Edgerton police started paperwork to put him into protective custody. But after an evaluation at Rock County Crisis Intervention, Vordermann was released to his sister at 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the reports.

On Monday morning, Edgerton police found Vordermann dead in his home along with his wife, Jennifer Vordermann.

Police say Shaun shot her and then killed himself.

Jennifer, 24, had called police Saturday night from Madison, saying Shaun had ďa gun, and says he is going to kill himself with it,Ē according to police reports.

The front door was boarded over when Edgerton police arrived at the Vordermann home, 39 Mildred Ave., Edgerton, at 10:50 p.m. Shaun was trying to lock a glass storm door, but officer Michael Williams drew his gun and ordered Shaun, 25, out of the house and onto the ground, according to the report.

Williams and officer Christian Chilson handcuffed Shaun and escorted him to a squad car. He told the officers that a handgun and ammunition were on a basement shelf.

Shaun did not deny telling car. He told the officers that a handgun and ammunition were on a basement shelf.

Shaun did not deny telling his wife he would harm himself but told the officers he was only trying to get her attention.

Shaun was uninjured. He told officers heíd had two or three beers, and a preliminary breath test indicated he had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.04. The legal limit to drive, in comparison, is 0.08.

Shaun said he had consumed no other medications, according to the report.

Shaun told police that Jennifer had not been home or returned his phone calls in two days, so he was trying to ďscareĒ her into calling and checking on him.

Once Shaun was secured, Williams called Jennifer on her cell phone and asked her to come home to secure the coupleís two bulldogs and to verify the messages that Shaun had sent.

Williams found a plastic gun case, presumably holding the gun, and a box of 9 mm ammunition on a basement shelf behind a water heater where Shaun had told them to look.

ďI retrieved the gun case and the ammunition and brought them outside so that they could be secured until a decision was made on Vordermannís state and what action would be taken,Ē Williams wrote.

Williams found a cell phone on a dresser and found a text message that Shaun had sent to ďMel,Ē Jenniferís cousin Melissa Bakken.

ďSending this to all my friends goodbye, sorry,Ē the message stated, according to the report.

Shaun told officers he sent messages to Jenniferís close relatives hoping ďthey would get tired of hearing him and urge Jennifer to call him.Ē

When Jennifer arrived, she showed Williams messages on her cell phone that included, ďdo you want to pull the trigger or should I,Ē according to the report.

Shaun would not name relatives who could take him in, and Williams did not feel comfortable leaving Shaun with Jennifer, so he called Rock County Crisis Intervention, according to the report.

An intake worker told Williams to take Shaun to a hospital for medical clearance and asked if Shaun had insurance and if anyone in the area could care for him.

Officers asked Jennifer if she was willing to keep the gun or take it to a relative. She said she was willing, so Chilson checked that the gun was unloaded and gave it to Jennifer, according to the report.

Bakken previously told the Gazette that Jennifer called her when officers left.

ďThey told her, ĎLeave the bullets in the house, and you should probably get the gun out of the house,íĒ Bakken told the Gazette.

Jennifer apparently put the gun in the trunk of her car, where Shaun retrieved it Sunday.

On the way to the Edgerton hospital, Shaun told officers he had relatives in Sun Prairie and Milton, according to the police report.

In the squad car, Shaun kept saying he was not serious about hurting himself and was only trying to get Jennifer to call him, according to reports.

Williams called crisis intervention from the Edgerton hospital emergency room parking lot to tell them what Shaun had said.

ďBased on Vordermannís statements and the above-mentioned circumstances, it was decided that Vordermann would be transported to the Rock County Health Care Center on an emergency detention hold for assessment, and based on that assessment he may be turned over to his sister or another responsible family member,Ē Williams wrote.

Williams dropped off Shaun at crisis intervention and completed the emergency detention form ďshould Vordermann need to be placed in a mental health facility,Ē according to the report.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, a crisis worker called Williams and said Shaun had been turned over to his sister and no emergency detention was needed, according to the police report.

The bodies were discovered at 8 a.m. Monday.



The following is a call placed at 8:35 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, from the mother of Jennifer Vordermann to the Rock County 911 Communications Center:

911: Rock County Communications.

Caller: Hi, I need to see if an officer can go over to my daughterís house. Iím getting text messages, and my son is getting text messages, and Iím worried about her safety.

911: OK, why are you worried about her?

Caller: Iím worried about her because her husbandís crazy, and he does have a gun in the house.

911: OK, is she texting you thatóare they fighting or something, or whatís the Ö?

Caller: I donít know. Iím just getting messages that are saying ďplease call me,Ē and nobody will return my call, no oneís returning my texts.

911: OK, whatís the address?

Caller: Itís 39 Mildred Avenue in Edgerton.

911: 39 Mildred Avenue in the city of Edgerton. Is that a house or an apartment?

Caller: Itís a house.

911: Itís a house. And what is your daughterís name?

Caller: Itís Jennifer Vordermann.

911: Spell it for me? V-O?

Caller: Itís V-O-R-D-E-R-M-A-N-N.

911: OK. OK, so she has been texting you and your son, stating to call her, but sheís not answering the phone?

Caller: Right, weíve been trying to text her and call her and, and this could just be something where, you know, he doesnít likeóthey have problems with her being gone, and then he gets weird. So I donít know if heís texting me, or if sheís texting. I donít know whoís texting because itís coming from my e-mail, which doesnít have a number.

911: OK, do they have a landline, do they have a phone number?

Caller: Yes.

911: Whatís the phone?

Caller: Ah, I donít know it. Itís on my, itís on, Iím not at home. Thatís why I had to call my son to even get the address, because I didnít know the house number.

911: OK, so, do they have a house phone number? Do you know what that number is?

Caller: I donít know that either.

911: OK, so they have cell phones and landline, but you donít know the numbers to either one.

Caller: Correct. (typing heard). And you know, I donít know whatís going on. I just want to know whatís going on.

911: OK. (typing) And you said that her husband is crazy? They have an abusive relationship, or what?

Caller: No, heís never hurt her or touched, hit her or anything like that. Itís just; he doesnít even get violent. He just gets weird. You know, heíll just start texting everybody, and itís just weird. So I donít know if heís just there by himself, and sheís gone or theyíre both there, or

911: Whatís his name?

Caller: Shaun. S-H-A-U-N.

911: OK. Whatís your name?

Caller: Tina

911: Tina?

Caller: Tina.

911: OK, and Tina, what is your address?


Caller: But Iím not at home right now.

911: Thatís fine. I just need to put it in the notes. Whatís your phone number you can be reached at?


911: OK, weíll go over there and attempt contact with both or whoeverís there, find out whatís going on, and weíll contact you by phone, or have one of them give you a call. OK?

Caller: All right.

911: And thatís 39 Mildred in Edgerton, correct?

Caller: Correct.

911: OK. Thank you.

Caller: Yup, bye bye.



The following is a call placed by Jennifer Vordermann at 10:38 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, to the Rock County 911 Communications Center:

911: Rock County Communications.

Caller: Yeah, hi. I have a question. My husband keeps calling me and heís like telling me heís gonna kill himself all this crazy stuff. Iím not there because Iím afraid to go there. I donít know if someone can, like, check up on him or Ö

911: Whatís going on tonight?

Caller: Nothing. I donít know. Heís crazy.

911: Your husband?

Caller: (Unintelligible) talked to you before.

911: I donít know. Ah, what address is he at?

Caller: 39 Mildred Avenue.

911: In Edgerton?

Caller: Yeah.

911: OK, and whatís your husbandís name?

Caller: Shaun.

911: And whatís his last name?

Caller: Itís Vordermann. V-O-R-D-E-R-M-A-N-N.

911: And where are you at?

Caller: Iím in Madison. I donít want to go home because he has a gun, and, yeah. I donít really. He says heís going to kill himself with his gun, so.

911: OK, and what is your name?

Caller: Jenni.

911: Same last name?

Caller: Yes.

911: You still live there with him?

Caller: Yeah.

911: And the phone number you can be reached at?


911: And whatís the phone number to the house?

Caller: Um, we donít have one.

911: OK, does Shaun have a cell phone?


911: OK. And whatís bothering him today? Whatís causing the problem?

Caller: íCause Iím not answering my phone.

911: Yeah. So have you actually spoken with him, or is he only leaving messages?

Caller: Heís left me several, like, text messages and voice mails, so.

911: OK.

Caller: And this isnít the first time this has happened, but Iím, like, all right, this has got to stop. (Pause). Because then I get freaked out, like, Iím going to get hurt.

911: Has he ever hurt you before?

Caller: No.

911: OK. Has he ever threatened to hurt you, harm you in the past?

Caller: No.

911: OK.

Caller: But he does like stalk me at work and all this other stuff, so it wouldnít put it past me that he would try to hurt me.

911: Thatís 39 Mildred Avenue in Edgerton.

Caller: Correct.

911: Are you planning on coming home tonight, or no?

Caller: I donít know. I donít want to because I donít know whatís going to happen, you know?

911: OK. Well, weíll get an officer over there to check. Do you want contact from an officer?

Caller: Yeah. That would be good.

911: OK. Weíll send him over there to check, and then weíll have someone give you a phone call, all right, Jenni?

Caller: OK, thank you.

911: Youíre welcome

Caller: All right. Bye.

911: Bye.

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