Neighbors are in shock and victim advocates urge people to reach out after shootingSubmitted: 03/24/2017

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MARATHON COUNTY - People living in the Aspen Apartments in Weston said they're still shaken up by shootings from two days ago.

Neighbors who lived in the same building as the suspect, Nengmy Vang, say some of them have been allowed to come back to their apartments today.

Others still can't return until more repairs have been done.

Two neighbors, who asked WJFW to only use their first names, live in the same building as the suspect. They say Nengmy Vang was always kind to them.

"But when I see him he always was speaking he smiled, he smiled at me he smiled at her. He helped us move stuff in our house so he was a, he was human," said Vang's neighbor, Que.

The neighbor added that he thought that Vang might have just needed someone to talk to.
However, the neighbor says nothing excuses Vang's actions.

According to police, those actions seem to have been motivated by domestic tension.
Vang is in divorce proceedings with his wife.

Police say that wife was the target of his attacks, even though she ended up unharmed.
Nonetheless, the violence led lawyers and victim advocates take notice.

"Because of what happened is the reason why we do the things we do," said Executive Director of Wisconsin Judicare Kimberly Haas.

Haas says the shootings in Marathon County are an unfortunate reality for domestic disputes.

"Unfortunately this is not the first case in which we know of victims who have been injured," said Haas.

Wisconsin Judicare is a program that provides legal help to those who couldn't otherwise afford it. The organization often works with victims of domestic abuse. For employees at Judicare, the shootings were personal.

"Sarah was an advocate and worked with Wisconsin Judicare clients," said Haas.

Sarah Quirt Sann the attorney killed in Wednesday's shootings. According to court records she was representing Vang's wife in a divorce.

Haas says it is important to continue their work despite the tragedy.

"We need to keep going," said Haas.

Women's Community is another Marathon County program that assists domestic abuse victims. Executive Director Jane Graham Jennings says this isn't the first time innocent bystanders have been hurt by a domestic situation.

"More often we think of domestic violence in one home and in one area and it just simply isn't," said Jennings.

Jennings urges the community to change their thinking on domestic abuse.

"The thing we need to think about and the thing we need to emphasize is that domestic violence is absolutely a community issue," said Jennings.

Jennings says on average there are 11 domestic abuse arrests a week in Marathon County.

Going forward, Haas says Wisconsin Judicare will look to Sarah's example to keep up the work that they do.
"We all recognize that Sarah was an amazing person and her mission was really to help people get through those difficult times, so we look to her as an example of what we all try to do here," said Haas.

Advocates remind people that violence can affect more than just the people directly involved.
This week's shootings are proof of that.

Both Women's Community and Judicare urge anyone suffering from domestic violence to reach out.

The Women's Community can be contacted at 1-888-665-1234.

Wisconsin Judicare can be contacted at 715-842-1681.

Each organization's website is also linked below.

For people wanting a way to help honor the victims of the shooting, organizations in the greater Wausau area set up funds remembering and honoring the victims of Wednesday's shootings.

A Marathon Savings Bank fund will support the families of the two bank employees shot. Dianne Look had worked at Marathon Savings Bank for almost 19 years, and Karen Barclay had been there for more than six years.

The bank put an initial gift of $30,000 into the fund. It's hoping to raise more through a GoFundMe page. The link to that GoFundMe is below.

Meanwhile, a memorial fund for the Weiland family is open at Intercity State Bank in Weston. Detective Jason Weiland of the Everest Metro Police Department was killed in Wednesday's shootings. Donations can be made under the name of "Weiland Memorial Fund."

A memorial fund for all of the victims has also been established at River Valley Bank. Donations will be accepted at all River Valley Bank branch locations until the end of April.

Related Weblinks:
Wisconsin Judicare
Women's Community

Story By: Dakota Sherek

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