A huge show of support was held in Ramsey on Monday morning as the bodies of the two police officers who were shot and killed Saturday were brought to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office.
Dozens of officers and firefighters, as well as community members, lined up outside the building to offer their condolences.
A 100-mile procession then led the officers — identified as Chetek Police Officer Emily Breidenbach and Cameron Police Officer Hunter Scheel — back to a funeral home in Barron, Wisconsin.
The officers died after gunfire was exchanged during a traffic stop shortly after 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
According to the Barron County Sheriff’s Office, the officers had stopped 50-year-old Glenn Douglas Perry of New Auburn, Wisconsin, to check on his welfare after they received reports of concerning behavior.
It’s still unclear what led to the exchange of gunfire.
“I really feel sorry for them – I would never want to be a cop today,” said Pat Gulczynski, a Vietnam Veteran who stood along Highway 8 in Barron, waiting for the procession to arrive.
“At least over [in Vietnam], I knew who my enemy was most of the time,” Gulczynski added. “When a police officer walks up to a car today, [they] don’t know if [they’re] walking up to the bad guy, good guy, or somebody that’s just lost.”
While Gulczynski didn’t know the two fallen officers, he still understands the importance of the procession and the job they died doing.
“I am glad that we have people who are willing to do it,” Gulczynski said about people being police officers. “I will back them up in any way I can and give them any support I can.”
The sheriff says Breidenbach, 32, had around five years of law enforcement experience and Scheel, 23, had around one year in law enforcement.
As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Breidenbach’s brother says their father was the Chetek police chief when they were growing up and called his sister a great role model and mother. Her friend, Mary Pittman, says she worked with the therapy dog at the small department.
Chetek police say a member of law enforcement will stand vigil by each officer’s side until the services are complete. Funeral arraignments are in the works – details are expected to be shared this sometime week.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said he will be signing an executive order that will lower both the U.S. and Wisconsin flags to half-staff in honor of Scheel and Breidenbach once their funeral arrangements have been announced.
Perry, the alleged shooter, was known to law enforcement and had a warrant out for his arrest at the time of the shootout.
Court documents obtained by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS show he was charged with misdemeanor battery, domestic abuse and disorderly conduct in March 2020.
In those documents, a witness describes him going on a rant about how police are bad and that he was going to kill them. They also state he had been driving with two guns in his car.
The Wisconsin DOJ Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation and is being assisted by Barron County Sheriff’s Office, Rusk County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wisconsin State Crime Lab and a DCI Crime Response Specialist.
After the investigation ends, investigative reports will be turned over to the Barron County District Attorney for review.