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Wisconsin salon shooter's wife told court he terrorized her for years

A man who burst into a Wisconsin nail salon and opened fire was found dead on the premises. Three other people were confirmed dead and four more injured. NBC's Kevin Tibbles reports.

In this version: Shooter bought gun two days after court issued restraining order that demanded he turn in firearms.


Updated at 5:36 p.m. ET: Zina Haughton, the estranged wife of the man who fatally shot her and two other women at a Wisconsin salon, told a court that her husband had terrified her for years, The Associated Press reported.


Zina Haughton, of Brown Deer, Wis., filed a restraining order against her husband, Radcliffe Haughton, on Oct. 8. She wrote that her husband believed she was cheating on him, and that he had vowed to burn her and her two daughters with gas.


NBC's M. Alex Johnson, Bill Dedman, Isolde Raftery, Tricia Culligan and Andrew Mach contributed to this report, along with Charles Benson, Todd Hicks, Susan Kim and Jermont Terry of WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee. Follow M. Alex Johnson on Twitter and Facebook.
In early October, Radcliffe Haughton, 45, was arrested for slashing his wife's tires. On Thursday, a court approved a restraining order she had sought and ordered him to turn in any firearms he owned. Two days later, he purchased a .40-caliber semiautomatic weapon used in the shootings, Brown Deer police said in a statement.



People who buy handguns from gun dealers must wait 48 hours after they have cleared a background check from the Department of Justice to pick up their firearm. There is no such waiting period or background check required in Wisconsin for people who purchase handguns from private individuals, which police say Radcliffe Haughton did.


The other victims killed in the shooting at the Azana Salon & Spa were Cary L. Robuck, 35 of Racine, Wis., and Maelyn M. Lind, 38, of Oconomowoc, Wis. Radcliffe Haughton was found dead in a locked part of the salon. Four more women who were hurt in the shooting were recovering from gunshot wounds to their arms and legs. 


Suspect's wife a 'hero'
A woman who said she was inside the salon said Zina Haughton acted like a hero when her estranged husband entered.


Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office

Alleged gunman Radcliffe Haughton is seen in this undated booking photo. Haughton is accused of killing three people and injuring four others at a Wisconsin salon on Sunday.

“Zina immediately jumped in, got in front of the reception desk, tried defusing the situation, talked to him, said this was a place of peace,” Betty Brunner told NBC affiliate Today’s TMJ4 in Milwaukee. “I know more people would have been killed if it wasn’t for her.” She did her best to save lives, Brunner said. “She was amazing.”  


Suspect's father aghast
Radcliffe Haughton's father, also named Radcliffe, was shocked and dismayed upon learning that his son was the suspect.



"Oh, my God," the elder Haughton told WTMJ in a telephone interview from his home in Florida.


"The Haughton family apologizes, and we are sorry."


A witness who was inside a Wisconsin salon during a deadly shooting calls the actions of the gunman's estranged wife 'heroic.' NBC's Chris Clackum reports.


"This is not a reflection of the Haughton family," he said, adding: "One member of the Haughton family has done something terrible. This is not the Haughtons' way. This is not the way we live. This is not how I raised my son up."


Haughton told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he spoke to his son just last week, telling him he could stay with him in Florida if he needed to. "I told him, 'Whatever you do, don't do anything stupid'," he said.


It was the second mass shooting in the Milwaukee area in 2 1/2 months. A gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee on Aug. 5, killing six people and wounding at least three others, before being shot to death. Three people were killed and a fourth was injured last week when a gunman stormed a hair salon in Casselberry, Fla. The gunman then killed himself.  


The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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