MENASHA, Wis. —
An argument with his ex-fiancee likely motivated a university student to randomly shoot four people, three fatally, on a bridge along a busy hiking and biking trail in a small eastern Wisconsin city, police said Monday. The gunman also shot and killed himself.
Menasha Police Chief Tim Styka said the 27-year-old military veteran, Sergio Daniel Valencia del Toro, grabbed two handguns after the argument and rode his bicycle to the Fox Cities Trestle Trail bridge over Little Lake Butte des Morts on Sunday evening. He biked to a spot near a pavilion on the bridge and opened fire, striking his four victims at close range, Styka said.
Jonathan Stoffel, 33, his daughter, Olivia Stoffel, 11, of Neenah, and Adam Bentdahl, 31, of Appleton, died at the scene. Stoffel’s 32-year-old wife, Erin Stoffel, was shot three times but survived, guiding her two other children, ages 5 and 7, from the bridge and sending the older one for help.
“It’s the end of innocence in the Fox Valley,” Styka said at a news conference at Theda Clark Medical Center in nearby Neenah. “The times have kind of caught up with us.”
It would seem that cyclists are making a very rapid ascent up the ladder of violence. We have gone from always couching ourselves as the ‘victim‘ to sharing the spotlight with pedestrians, who are now our gun violence victims.