Police: No immediate threat to public safety in wake of shooting

2012-09-17T15:00:00Z 2012-10-10T20:09:16Z Police: No immediate threat to public safety in wake of shootingTribune staff La Crosse Tribune
September 17, 2012 3:00 pm  • 

Police have made no arrests in the slaying of a downtown camera shop owner and his son but say there is no immediate further threat to public safety.

Paul Petras, 56, and A.J. Petras, 19, were found shot to death Saturday afternoon inside May’s Photo at 425 Main St. Police said the shooting likely occurred sometime after the store closed at 2 p.m.

It was Paul’s wife who discovered their bodies when he did not return home from work, police revealed today.

The store was supposed to close at 2 p.m. A customer at a nearby restaurant called 911 at 5:24 p.m. after Sherri Petras ran from the store calling for help.

Police believe the Petrases were shot inside the business sometime between 2 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

The shooting brings the city’s 2012 homicide count to four, the most in two decades, though police say the crime appears to be "an isolated incident directed to this particular business" and is not connected to any of the city’s other killings this year.

"One homicide is too many," said Capt. Robert Lawrence, spokesman for the La Crosse Police Department, who added that, while it is alarming that two people were shot and killed in a downtown business, "there's no apparent or known further threat at this time."  

Lawrence added that three people are in jail in connection with the previous homicides. Izelia Golatt is scheduled to go on trial next week for the death of Kristen Rodgers, who was found March 6 in a North Side alley. Kong Vue and Pao Choua Vue are awaiting sentencing in November after pleading guilty to reckless homicide in the shooting of La Crosse student Sara Hougom.

Police continue asking for the public’s help in what they called a “complex investigation with many resources being deployed.”

State and local investigators combed through the crime scene overnight Saturday and through the day on Sunday.

Police also seeking to interview anyone in a May’s photography class that ended about 2 p.m. Saturday.

A memorial service is scheduled Friday morning at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Mormon Coulee Road in La Crosse. 

Return to lacrossetribune.com for further updates.

Copyright 2015 La Crosse Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(30) Comments

  1. perkred
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    perkred - September 19, 2012 11:24 am
    guess we really know who the dimwit nimwit nimrod dimrod is - dol
  2. perkred
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    perkred - September 19, 2012 11:23 am
    Well-that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside--oh--and real safe--you have a murder or murders running around free--and just maybe looking to do this again because it was so easy the first time (that we know of) sad sad - but its way past time to arm ourselves and be ready to protect what is yours and of course our family--DANG MAN!! remember when Lax was a safe place--know matter where you went around town--those days are over--Chicago has found Lax-with that comes many many bad things
  3. HonestAbe
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    HonestAbe - September 18, 2012 8:27 am
    North of Gundersen, South of Cass, West of West Avenue, and East of the river. That's the danger zone, and I live in it.
  4. easy
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    easy - September 18, 2012 2:07 am
    Do you remember the story a few months ago about that gangster guy, from Chicago area, who is too nervous to work, and so receives some 1400.00 lor so in assisstance from some level of government, along with other subsidies?

    He was quite proud of himself and his past. he paper did a several part story on him, and said he spent his day listening to music and searching the system for other benefits.

    It didn't mention that he is probably doing that while stoned to the gills.
  5. Grand Dad's Bluff
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    Grand Dad's Bluff - September 17, 2012 10:31 pm
    Irresponsible statement by police chief.
  6. union conservative
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    union conservative - September 17, 2012 6:07 pm
    mypeeps, W-2 is a joke at best. I suggest you do some checking in and around LaCrosse county on what I wrote. You will be surprised. I know because I deal with a lot of these people and hear all to often how easy living in LaCrosse is. Oru leadership is way to liberal and attractive to people who don't work.
  7. opinionatedme
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    opinionatedme - September 17, 2012 5:02 pm
    I am a LaCrosse native since relocated and I was told just last week that you cannot walk around in the evening. I heard there was a rape in the area as well. somewhere between Market, Main & 4th - 7th.. or there abouts. Someone in another post talked of this general area as being dangerous to walk at night. I know I left LaCrosse to raise my family because of the crime - and that was eons ago ! I shudder to know that many of my family still reside in LaCrosse and pray for their safety!!! A killer is still loose!
  8. mypeeps
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    mypeeps - September 17, 2012 4:50 pm
    @UC...are you aware that Wisconsin has something called W-2 and they DON'T have welfare. Yes, you can get housing and food stamps and medical assistance but Wisconsin doesn't pass out checks like MN does any longer. You can get cash assistance under a program called W-2 for so long but you have stipulations, you must go to classes/work programs.
  9. union conservative
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    union conservative - September 17, 2012 4:38 pm
    While this should not turn into a game of politics one should wonder what LaCrosse would be like with different leadership. Leadership which promotes working class people vs Human Services Programs. Leadership which promotes holding people accountable for their actions to fullest instead of plea deals and soft sentences of probation. It has been clear for sometime our current leadership looks to hand everyone who moves to this town a check, cellphone, and housing FOR FREE. The crime that has occurred over the past couple years is inherited from bigger communities. Now its time to send these people packing or make them work for their benefits. If we don't crime like we have seen over the past couple years will continue to multiple and citizens will continue to critize the vary people who attempt to protect them, the police.
  10. Guest 03
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    Guest 03 - September 17, 2012 4:28 pm
    No threat huh? You have no suspects in custody and unless your shooter is one of your victims I'd say there is still a threat... And if your shooter is one of your victims I think I would find a better way to relay that to the public because right now I'm fairly certain NO ONE in this town feels safe... Not to mention the other people who have been murdered in La Crosse in the last 9 months... But if you read the article a big pat on the back to the La Crosse PD because those perps are in jail... Can't forget to put that in there!
    Hello "Stand Your Ground" and concealed carry!
  11. Ronnieboe
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    Ronnieboe - September 17, 2012 4:27 pm
    There is somthing wrong with 80% of you Fools who have commented on this alful thing that happed in our City. It was Murder of two People!
  12. Lucenut
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    Lucenut - September 17, 2012 4:17 pm
    "No immediate threat to public safety". Just MURDERERS running around!
    What a stupid statement? How do you let them get away with that?
    Are they parsing the meaning of "immediate"?
    Because there is obviously a threat.
  13. mypeeps
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    mypeeps - September 17, 2012 3:50 pm
    I thought I read that he had told someone he put up security cameras? Maybe it was that he wanted to, I'm not sure. No matter what, I just hope that they catch the bast@rd(s).
  14. David Lee
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    David Lee - September 17, 2012 3:38 pm
    there are no security cameras, you get a clue.
  15. Seriously Now
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    Seriously Now - September 17, 2012 3:37 pm
    DOL is trolling and is so full of you-know-what that it's coming out of his ears. The police are interviewing the students, many of whom may have seen the person "chatting" with the owner and his son just before the event. Muder-suicide is like claiming is was a gas leak...100% insane fabrication.
  16. David Jarzemski
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    David Jarzemski - September 17, 2012 3:31 pm
    People, why are you running off at the mouth spreading rumors? Wait until further information is released before going nuts, OK?
  17. mypeeps
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    mypeeps - September 17, 2012 3:30 pm
    Usually with a murder-suicide they say that right away to let the public know there is no need to be worried. Who know's, it could be that but I'm not betting on it.
  18. Thinker77
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    Thinker77 - September 17, 2012 3:23 pm
    DOL - Is name calling necessary? The police have called this a double homicide and are now saying this was directed at the business. How about you stop jumping to conclusions ...
  19. Educated Redneck
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    Educated Redneck - September 17, 2012 3:21 pm
    DOL- A murder-suicide? How did you draw that conclusion? This is the first I'm hearing of that theory.
  20. Thinker77
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    Thinker77 - September 17, 2012 3:19 pm
    “There is no apparent or known further threat at this time,” police said in a news release today. That's where the Tribune got the information from -- the news release from the police department. Also, it is the POLICE who say the business was targeted.

  21. lefse
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    lefse - September 17, 2012 3:14 pm
    Maybe they've already got suspects or somebody in custody. This doesn't sound like the police press releases after the Hougom murder.
  22. DOL
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    DOL - September 17, 2012 3:07 pm
    Why don't you do some educated reading between the lines and quit jumping to conclusions. Who murders a store owner and his son in the middle of the afternoon at Camera store for heaven's sake. this was a murder suicide. The police are not going to broadcast it until they tell the family and check out the ballistics security camera. When the police tell you there is no threat to public safety there is your answer nitwit.
  23. DOL
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    DOL - September 17, 2012 3:04 pm
    This was a murder suicide people. Read between the lines. It takes about 24 hours to take a look at ballistics and the security cameras. We heard this yesterday. Get a clue.
  24. HonestAbe
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    HonestAbe - September 17, 2012 2:48 pm
    Exactly EducatedRedneck.

    I was happy Kondracki was going away so the lies and mind control would go away, as if we can't deduct and think logically, please.

    “There is no apparent or known further threat at this time,”

    "apparent or known" .... but, why are you not telling people to be mindful and careful? It's not a solved case, you have no suspects, so how can you assert everything is A-OK?

  25. hougie
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    hougie - September 17, 2012 2:47 pm
    The only threat to our society is the idiots running it. Standard lacrosse playbook 101. "Remain calm...there is nothing to see here." Theyre more concerned about how the public perceives them then whats actually happening out there. Sorry the dont panic line doesnt work anymore. That town is a train wreck of losers with no money who need drugs and will do anything to get their fix. So uh yeah its dangerous in la crosse. For its small size its polluted with creeps. A few days ago my my nephew got his a$$ kicked for simply walking across the street by some tatooed freak. Almost beat him unconscious. Luckily he got the plate number and that guy is in jail. Regarding this case I hope the investigators figure out who did it. This killing and violence is getting out of hand in what used to be a great place to live.
  26. mypeeps
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    mypeeps - September 17, 2012 2:30 pm
    Well I feel so much better knowing this. NOT. Anytime someone is brutally murdered and the person is not in custody or dead, there is a threat to the public because they know they killed 2 people and they could do it again. So yes, there is a threat to the public. Targeted at business? I realize there is only so much information they can give out as it is under investigation and the perp or perps aren't in custody, however, this news release is NOT going to comfort the citizens of this community.
  27. MinnesotaResident
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    MinnesotaResident - September 17, 2012 2:09 pm
    "Despite no arrests, police say there is no further threat to public safety after a downtown camera shop owner and his son were shot to death Saturday in their store." Say What?? No public threat? Who does the writing here and/or who told the Tribune to say this? That should make this whole town breathe a huge sigh of relief. NOT. Of course the store was targeted...did the writers just figure this out? Welcome to the world of organized robbery and murder. Other store owners need to take precautions to prevent something like this happening to them in the future. It's disappointing that the tribune would say no further threat. Great way to further the head-in-the-sand mentality.
  28. Johndra
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    Johndra - September 17, 2012 2:00 pm
    Unless the shooter is dead, in which case this would be a situation where they want to make sure their conclusions are accurate before making any statements to the public.
  29. David Lee
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    David Lee - September 17, 2012 1:34 pm
    Bull Pucky. Educated is correct.
  30. Educated Redneck
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    Educated Redneck - September 17, 2012 1:24 pm
    If you expect me to believe that this was a targeted murder and there is no other threat to public safety, the police had better release information as to how they came to this conclusion. As I see it, there is always a threat until the person or persons responsible are behind bars.
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