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Shooting suspect charged with attempted homicide


Uttech held on $1 million cash bond

By Robert Cloud

A man who reportedly shot at police officers on June 22 is currently in custody on a $1 million cash bond.

Justin L. Uttech, 36, Waupaca, is charged with three counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, two felony counts of causing mental harm to a child, and one count each of second-degree reckless endangerment, possession of a firearm while intoxicated, disorderly conduct with a dangerous weapon as an act of domestic abuse, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the criminal complaint, Waupaca officers responded to a domestic complaint at the 100 block of North State Street shortly before 8:40 p.m. Saturday, June 22. They were informed that firearms were at the residence.

While Waupaca Police Sgt. Wes Zube, Waupaca Officer Paul Przybelski and Waupaca County Deputy Alec Brockman were approaching the house they heard the distinct whistling sound of a nearby bullet flying through the air and hitting metal.

Initially, they were certain where the bullet had been fired from, and they took cover behind Brockman’s vehicle.

Waupaca Police Officer Randy Busch reported seeing a man in a second-story window. The man appeared to be holding an object, but Busch could determine if the man was holding a gun or a camera.

As Brockman was making his way around his vehicle, a second gunshot was heard.

Communications officers made contact with the man inside the house, who was later identified at Uttech.

Officers reported learning that Uttech was armed, had been drinking all day and wanted “suicide by cop,” the complaint says. He reportedly told police that he did not want to come out and if he did he would be armed.

Uttech arrested

Eventually, Waupaca County Sgt. Chad Repinski persuaded Uttech to exit the residence. He came out unarmed. He was wearing body armor and an empty holster on his hip. He also had a swollen eye.

Gold Cross Ambulance transported Uttech to ThedaCare Medical Center in Waupaca. Then police transported him to the county jail.

Police found two bullet holes in the wall of a stairway, a 40-caliber handgun with a 15-round magazine. Two of the bullets were missing from the magazine.

Officer Busch spoke with Uttech’s sister, who said he “was extremely suicidal,” and that he “was suffering from some sort of mental breakdown,” according to the complaint.

Busch also met with Uttech’s wife, her daughter and her granddaughters, ages 1 and 2 years old. Although they lived in the house with Uttech, the family spent the previous night in a hotel due to verbal altercations between Uttech and his wife.

When the family came home at 12:30 p.m. on June 22, Uttech had been drinking and appeared intoxicated, the complaint says.

While Uttech’s wife was changing a child’s diaper, Uttech became angry, yelled at her, grabbed her, then began punching himself in the face, apparently hard enough to cause bleeding and a swollen eye. He then allegedly pointed the handgun at himself.

Uttech will appear before Waupaca County Circuit Court Judge Troy Nielsen on Wednesday, July 17, for an adjourned initial appearance.

He faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

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