Wife of shooting suspect feared for life; testified in court - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wife of shooting suspect feared for life; testified about it in open court


BROOKFIELD (WKOW) -- The wife of the man police say carried out the mass shooting at a Brookfield spa, feared for her life and said so in open court last week.

Zina Haughton, who police say was killed by her husband Radcliffe Haughton on Sunday, asked for and got a restraining order last Thursday. When she originally filed the request, she told investigators her husband had threatened to throw acid in her face and burn her and the rest of her family with gas.

WISN-TV in Milwaukee obtained a recording of the court hearing, where Zina told her husband they needed to separate because she was afraid he would hurt her. "For 20 years, we've fought. He's hit me. We've fought. But since May 29, the evening that he thinks I cheated on him, just the threats have gotten so bad, and like I said, I don't want to die," Zina Haughton said in court.

"The scariest night of my life; he ran in the basement, and he came upstairs, and he pulled a gun from behind his pants, and it accidentally went off in between me and my daughter's head, about two inches from both of our heads," Zina Haughton testified.

Radcliffe Haughton's testimony was recorded as well. WISN reports he said, "I have been involved with Zina Haughton for most of my adult life. This is a woman that I love. Things haven't always been the best that they could have been, but I can stand before the court, stand before God and say that I love her. I love her unconditionally. This situation was brought about by infidelity."

WISN reports Zina went on to address her husband. "I never went to the police. The police were randomly called by people who overheard fights, and I've always sent the police away because I never want … I'm not a vindictive person. I love my daughter. I loved my husband. I never wanted her to see him taken away, and I never wanted him, I never wanted him to be taken away, but things have gotten so bad, Rad. I just, we need to separate. … before you hurt me. Even if it's an accident. I don't want to die. I just don't want to die," Zina Haughton said in court.

At that court hearing, the commissioner ordered Haughton to have no contact with his wife for four years and ordered him to surrender any guns. Brown Deer police say Radcliffe Haughton bought a gun two days later, on Saturday, the day before the shooting at the spa.

A woman who was inside the salon calls Zina a hero. Betty Brunner says Zina was her stylist, and says she was the one who tried to diffuse the situation. "She was someone who kept all the attention on her. She said, 'This is a peaceful place, calm down, sir,' and just kept talking to him as sir." Brunner says no one knew it was her husband because she kept calling him sir.

"No idea. No indication that it was her husband at all," says Brunner.

Brunner says Haughton pulled his wife behind a wall near the reception station. "He kept yelling at people to get down. And then, that's when I heard all the gunshots. When the bullets were going, and the mirrors broke, and, you know, I kept telling everyone last night, I said, I can't believe it. I do not have one scratch on me. He was facing me. We were about five feet away. I held my breath and pretended I was dead."

Police say besides Zina, Haughton killed two other women and wounded four others. One has since been released from the hospital. Police are still investigating.

Powered by Frankly