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Three accused in July 19 motorcycle club shooting on La Crosse's North Side

Three accused in July 19 motorcycle club shooting on La Crosse's North Side

From the Year in review: Some of the biggest crime stories of 2019 in the La Crosse area series
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Three people are facing charges from a July 19 shooting on La Crosse’s North Side connected to the Society for Brotherhood motorcycle club, according to the La Crosse Police Department.

Brandon Stemper mug

Stemper

Brandon T. Stemper, 31, Holmen, was charged Thursday with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, felon in possession of a firearm and disorderly conduct in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Javier Ortiz.jpg

Ortiz

Police have also referred Javier Ortiz, 55, and Amber R. Peters, 25, to the La Crosse County District Attorney’s Office for charges connected to the investigation, which began with a call at 10:02 a.m. at the Partners for Excellence School at 901 Caledonia St., which reported its windows had been damaged overnight, according to police.

Amber Peters mug

Peters

Police determined the windows had been shot out and found evidence of a shooting at a neighboring property: the Society for Brotherhood motorcycle clubhouse at 932 Caledonia St.

Police executed a search warrant at the clubhouse and collected a digital recorder for the surveillance camera system. The Wisconsin State Crime Lab located a recently deleted video showing the shooting.

According to the criminal complaint, the recovered video showed Stemper handling a handgun throughout the night of July 18 and into the morning of July 19 during a tattooing party at the clubhouse. About 4 a.m. July 18, Ortiz is seen on the video sitting at the bar according to police and playing with a handgun, then firing it seven to eight times at the west wall, which faces the Partners for Excellence building, while Peters and another woman look on.

Police say the video shows Stemper joining them and laughing at the bullet holes, then after dancing a little while, taking a gun and firing nine times into the wall. Ortiz then shot an additional two rounds into the wall and both high-fived. Stemper then fired on more shot, according to the complaint.

Police say Peters lied to an officer who asked her July 29 for information on the shooting. According to the report, she said she left before the shooting and she didn’t know Ortiz.

Ortiz faces charges of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct. Peters is accused of obstructing an officer.

According to police, Stemper is a known member of the Society for Brotherhood club, Ortiz is a known member of the Outlaws motorcycle club, and Peters is Stemper’s girlfriend.

“This investigation once again highlights the dangers posed to the community and police when convicted felons are in possession of firearms,” said the department in its press release.

Stemper has been convicted of battery three times, including a 2010 conviction for substantial battery, and is facing misdemeanor charges of take and drive a vehicle without consent and disorderly conduct, which were filed earlier this month.

Stemper turned himself in Wednesday.

In court Thursday, prosecutor Jessica Skemp requested Stemper be required to submit to Justice Support Services testing for alcohol if released on bond.

“He does have a history of alcohol-related crimes including a conviction for OWI — fourth offense in five years. I hear the allegations involve drinking and firing a weapon, so we believe alcohol testing is necessary for public safety,” Skemp said.

Judge Todd Bjerke ordered a $25,000 signature bond, saying, “That’s probably what it will be if you violate it, so keep that in mind.”

Stemper was released on the condition he not possess or consume alcohol, submit to alcohol testing, not possess weapons or firearms of any kind, and avoid the 900 block of Caledonia Street.

The police department asks anyone with information to call the La Crosse Police Department at 608-785-5962. To remain anonymous, contact La Crosse Area Crime Stoppers at 608-784-8477 or submit online at https://www.p3tips.com/459. You can also download the Crime Stoppers App “P3” to submit a tip via your smartphone.


Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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