Police found two men dead from gunshot wounds at a Janesville mobile home and a distraught woman screaming Thursday night.
The woman, who is from Madison, had a child with one of the men, a 43-year-old from Madison, and she was having a romantic relationship with the other gunshot victim, a 27-year-old from Janesville, police said.
All three worked at B&G Foods in Stoughton, police said.
Deputy Chief Todd Kleisner said the woman and 27-year-old had a love affair in 2019, and that relationship rekindled in recent weeks.
The 43-year-old apparently suspected something. When he arrived at work early for third shift Thursday, he discovered the 27-year-old had not reported for his second-shift job, Kleisner said.
The 43-year-old left work and apparently stopped to pick up a 9mm handgun at his residence before going to the Town & Country Mobile Home Park on Janesville’s south side. He knew where to go from previous conversations with the woman, Kleisner said.
The shootings took place on the porch at trailer No. B17 at the park, 1105 Kellogg Ave.
Police believe the 43-year-old shot the 27-year-old multiple times before shooting himself. The woman saw the whole thing, Kleisner said. No one else was in the home.
Police are not allowed to reveal the identities of either of the men because both are considered victims, and the recently enacted Marsy’s Law does not allow police or court officials to identify victims without the consent of relatives, Kleisner said.
Kleisner said their identities might never be officially revealed, but already Friday, friends of those involved were using their names on social media, said Mario Santiago, a neighbor of the residence where the shootings took place who had worked at B&G Foods with the 27-year-old.
Santiago said he saw a woman he did not know come out of trailer B17 after the shots were fired, screaming. Police said nine to 10 gunshots were reported.
“I thought it might be fireworks or people working on a house,” Santiago said.
Police arrived about 10 minutes after being dispatched at 9:56 p.m., Lt. Chad Pearson said. They recovered a handgun.
“I came out quickly, and all I see is police cars everywhere,” Santiago said. “They had their weapons out. … That’s when you feel safe; they’re there.”
Santiago said he overheard the woman talking to police.
“She was saying, ‘He did it right in front of me,’” Santiago said.
Santiago said the residents of B17 were a mother and her adult son, apparently the 27-year-old.
Santiago said he heard two people were shot, but he didn’t know who. “I’m like, all night long, just thinking about that,” he said.
Police issued a news release Friday morning, saying two men were shot and killed and that the community was not in danger.
“Very sad,” Santiago said.
Police classify the shootings as domestic violence. Police Chief Dave Moore said last year that over the long term, that’s the leading cause of Janesville homicides.
Janesville police take domestic violence seriously, Kleisner said, and they always refer victims to community agencies, including Rock County Crisis Intervention and YWCA Rock County, which runs a domestic-violence shelter.
Janesville and Madison police had not had any contacts with those involved in this incident, however, Kleisner said.
Autopsies were to be conducted over the weekend, and police were to guard the residence to preserve evidence until the autopsies were completed, Kleisner said.
Four people died in Janesville homicide cases in 2020. Three of those involved shootings, one a double homicide. In the fourth case, a man who was caring for a child was charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the child’s beating death.
Moore has said four homicides in a year was abnormally high for Janesville. He said the city typically sees between zero and two homicides a year.