A man shot and killed as he ran out of a motorcycle shop where a hostage situation played out in Wisconsin on Saturday was a hostage fleeing the gunman inside, a lawyer for the man’s family told the Associated Press.
According to Milwaukee lawyer Cole J. White, that man was 60-year-old Neenah resident Michael Funk. (White cited the Wisconsin Department of Justice and Funk’s wife.)
Police said Saturday they shot at a man who was carrying a weapon and would not comply with orders to drop it as he left the shop, Eagle Nation Cycles, in Neenah, Wisconsin, the Appleton Post-Crescent reports. He also may have been shot by the suspect, they said. The man, who Neenah police have not yet identified, was taken to a hospital, where he died.
The man who died was shot at by officers when he came out of the business and refused to drop a gun, Wilkinson said. He is not the same man who police think started the disturbance and reportedly fired one or more shots inside the business, he said. Police do not know if the man they shot at was also shot inside the business during the disturbance.
Funk was a friend of the store’s owner, Steven Erato. White is representing both, and Eagle Nation Cycles, in a $50 million federal lawsuit, filed in 2014, against the city of Neenah, its police, and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department, stemming from a 2012 raid on the shop.
Police had raided the store then because they suspected it was involved in a heroin and methamphetamine operation. Erato was charged with 26 felonies, all of which were dropped, White said. Erato said he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.
During the 2012 raid, Funk was told to get on the ground. White said that Funk told police that he was lawfully carrying a concealed weapon. At that point, White said, officers pointed their guns at Funk’s head, and one stuck his knee in Funk’s back and handcuffed him.
“If he didn’t drop the gun, it wasn’t because he was trying to stir up [things]. It’s because he didn’t understand and was trying to get away.”
White said the Wisconsin Department of Justice confiscated footage from the store’s five video camera that likely show Funk’s shooting. An autopsy is planned for Monday.