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By Pamela Powers, Menomonie News Bureau
MENOMONIE – A 27-year-old Elk Mound man accused of firing about a dozen shots Sept. 17 from a high-powered rifle while at his apartment is believed to have been trying to get police officers to shoot him.
William C. Clark was apparently upset over a separation from his wife, said Dunn County District Attorney James Peterson.
“He called his brother and made some comments one could deduce he was going to harm himself,” Peterson said during a court appearance Wednesday by Clark. “He started shooting within the apartment.”
Peterson said there is no evidence anyone was in danger or Clark was shooting at anyone.
“He made statements he was trying to be careful not to point the gun at any person,” Peterson said. “Our belief is he was hoping the police would shoot him.”
Peterson noted a number of neighbors were terrorized by Clark’s shooting and his behavior.
A criminal complaint is expected to be filed today.
Peterson expects to charge Clark with felony resisting arrest, reckless use of a weapon, armed with a dangerous weapon while intoxicated and criminal damage to property.
Clark is accused of writing the word “pig” in blood on a wall of the apartment using his own blood as well as putting bullet holes in walls and window sills of the apartment with a hunting rifle.
“He destroyed a lot of his own property,” Peterson said, noting property of the apartment owner also was damaged.
Judge Rod Smeltzer set bail for Clark at $1,000. He remained in custody Wednesday afternoon. He is scheduled Tuesday for an initial Dunn County Court appearance.
Clark, who had sought a signature bond, told Smeltzer he was on three medications, one to curb alcohol use and two antidepressants.
Clark was ordered not to have contact with his estranged wife, residents of the four-unit apartment building at 206 Jersey Lane or his landlord.
From eight to 12 people were evacuated from the building and surrounding apartment buildings during the shooting, which involved the Menomonie and Eau Claire County SWAT teams.
About two hours after the initial shooting reports, Clark came out of the residence and left in his car.
Law enforcement officials pursued the car for six or seven miles. Clark was taken into custody early Sept. 18 without incident just outside Elk Mound.
He did not have the rifle with him. It later was recovered in or around his residence.
Powers can be reached at 715-235-9018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.