Suspect, victim identified in fatal Rock County shooting - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Suspect, victim identified in fatal Rock County shooting

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PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP (WKOW) -- The Rock County Sheriff's Office says the victim and suspect in a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday morning are neighbors.

The victim has been identified as 59-year-old Christine M. Gestrich. The suspect, who authorities say remains in critical but stable condition at UW hospital, has been identified as 75-year-old Daniel F. Bellard. Both live on West Stuart Road.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office says when deputies arrived at the home on the 6700-block of West Stuart Road, they encountered thick fog and limited visibility. Sheriff Robert Spoden says Bellard's wife made the call to 911. "We also found out from the wife that the subject was still armed and somewhere else on the property." Deputies called in the SWAT team.

After searching the area, authorities found Gestrich dead inside a barn on Bellard's property. Bellard was located shortly after in another outbuilding with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gun shot wound, according to the Rock Co. Sheriff's Office. "We have heard through other individuals that there has been in the past some disputes over boundaries -- property boundaries," Spoden says.

The Sheriff's Office is looking into reports that Gestrich may have been removing snow from Bellard's property just before the shooting. Spoden says authorities have never been called to either home and neither the suspect nor victim have criminal records.

An autopsy is scheduled for Gestrich Thursday. The investigation is ongoing.

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