Clifford A. Grice, 41, of Janesville, was shot to death on the city’s south side Wednesday in an incident police are calling a “domestic-related” homicide.
Lucas E. Stuhr, 39, of Browntown was taken into custody after a pursuit by Green County authorities and was being held on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in the shooting, Janesville police Lt. Charles Aagaard said in a press conference Thursday at the Janesville Police Department.
The shooting occurred in the driveway outside Grice’s home in the 2600 block of Kellogg Avenue. It followed a “verbal altercation” between the two men “over a relationship” with a Browntown woman, Aagaard said.
Grice was shot “multiple times,” and he died, police said.
The woman, who had ended a relationship with Stuhr and had started a relationship with Grice, was present during the argument, and she was the person who called 911 after the shooting, Aagaard said.
Aagaard said police knew of a history of domestic violence between Stuhr and the woman, but they were not aware of any restraining order she had against Stuhr.
Stuhr and Grice had never met before, and police weren’t sure why Stuhr showed up at Grice’s home, Aagaard said.
Several shots were fired from a semiautomatic handgun, and several shots hit Grice, Aagaard said.
The Rock County Medical Examiner’s Office identified Grice as the victim at about 7 p.m. Thursday in a news release. Preliminary forensic results confirmed Grice’s death was the result of “homicidal firearm related trauma,” according to the release.
Stuhr gave police a statement after he was taken into custody Wednesday, but Aagaard declined to give any details pending the investigation.
An autopsy was conducted Thursday morning at the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Department, Aagaard said.
Police say Stuhr fled in his vehicle Wednesday night. Janesville police notified surrounding jurisdictions to be on the lookout for the vehicle, which later was spotted near Monroe. Green County sheriff’s deputies and Monroe police were involved in a 20-mile pursuit of the vehicle from west of Monroe east on Highway 11.
Green County Sheriff Jeff Skatrud said police were waiting for Stuhr at his home in Browntown. When Stuhr arrived, he pulled into his driveway followed by squad cars. Stuhr pulled through the yard of his home, drove through fields and back onto Highway 11 before fleeing, Skatrud said.
The pursuit went through Monroe and through Brodhead. At one point, Stuhr managed to avoid stop sticks deputies had deployed across the road to deflate the vehicle’s tires, Skatrud said.
The chase ended at Crazy Horse Campground off County F west of Brodhead, where the vehicle was cornered by police, Skatrud said.
“It was a dead end, and he really couldn’t get any farther,” Skatrud said.
According to a Green County Sheriff’s Office news release, Stuhr was by himself, and when he got out of his vehicle, he threw a gun into a snowbank. Police recovered the gun.
Stuhr surrendered without incident, and no one was injured during the pursuit, police said.
Stuhr is being held at the Rock County Jail pending his initial court appearance.
Police had been dispatched to the Kellogg Avenue home at 6:15 p.m. for a report of shots fired and had cordoned off the area at Kellogg and South Crosby avenues for hours Wednesday night.
One neighbor said she had heard “five or six” gunshots and then heard a woman screaming. The woman said the gunshots sounded to her like they came from a “small-caliber” handgun.
The Kellogg Avenue neighborhood was mostly quiet Thursday.
One neighbor, a man who didn’t want to give his name, said he lives near the house where the shooting happened, a duplex on the north side of Kellogg Avenue.
The man said he heard several gunshots Wednesday night and went outside to see what happened.
He said his neighbor, a “man in his 40s” whom he recognized, was lying in blood.
The man said he heard a woman say that after the shooting, someone had fled in a dark-colored SUV.
The man said that in the past, he had talked to the neighbor who was shot. He said the neighbor had a roommate and at least one child.
He said police were in the neighborhood until about 2 a.m. Thursday.
Police confirmed the man had a roommate, but they said the roommate didn’t have any connection to the shooting and wasn’t home at the time.
A Gazette reporter at the scene Thursday observed a woman crying in a parked car outside a duplex on the north side of Kellogg Avenue. A few people came out of the duplex and met the woman. They embraced, and then the group went back inside.
Several residents attended Thursday’s press conference. Janesville Police Chief Dave Moore said they were family members of the victim.
Moore asked the family members to hold their questions, and he ended the press conference by asking the media to leave the room so police could speak with the family alone.
A Gazette reporter observed family members leaving the meeting with police, some of them in tears.
On Thursday morning, Rock County District Attorney David O’Leary said he was recently talking with a young law student about how homicide cases were not as frequent when he started 30 years ago.
That has changed.
“I was meeting with my deputy DA trying to figure out which of my attorneys doesn’t have a homicide case on their desk,” O’Leary said, “so I can assign them the volume of work that’s coming at them for the latest homicide.”
It’s the third killing reported in Janesville since late 2017, according to Gazette reports.
At the press conference, Moore declined to characterize the shooting death as a “domestic homicide” but said “it is related to a domestic relationship.”
Moore said the city has “relatively few” homicides—about two a year. He said about two-thirds of those killings are “domestic related.”
“Unfortunately, when we have these homicides, there are many, many people affected,” he said.
Moore said about 20 officers were assigned to handle the investigation and aftermath of the shooting, which he called “significant resources.”
Reporters Ashley McCallum and Jonah Beleckis contributed to this story.