CHETEK, Wis. (KMSP) - Preliminary autopsy results were released Monday following a murder-suicide in Chetek, Wisconsin that claimed three lives, including 17-year-old high school student Natalie Turner and her mother.
The medical examiner's report indicates Natalie Turner, her 55-year-old mother Brenda Turner, and a man named John Hengst all three died from a single gunshot wound. Brenda also suffered blunt force injuries to her face, neck and torso and had left side rib fracture.
The 911 call came in just before 9:00 p.m. Friday night. According to the Barron County Sheriff's Office, some sort of altercation occurred in the upstairs bedroom and then continued downstairs where Brenda was found dead from a gunshot wound. Natalie made the 911 call asking for help and was found dead in her upstairs bedroom from a single gunshot wound. Hengst was found downstairs from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The manner of death for Brenda and Natalie is homicide and John matter of death is suicide.
The abrupt loss shocked many in the community who knew Natalie as a positive, caring girl, active on the dance team and friends with everyone at school. The high school senior dreamed of becoming a nurse someday.
Students, teachers and even many law enforcement officers gathered at Chetek High School on Sunday to honor Natalie's life.
"I'm still in shock and processing," said Katelyn Williams, who was on the dance team with Natalie. "It's going to be a long road to being ok."
This incident comes on the heels of a rough few months for the small western Wisconsin town, after an early-summer tornado whipped through Chetek and caused more than $12 million in damage, killing one. With the community still reeling from that storm, another student at the high school lost his life in a small plane crash just a few days later.
The back-to-back losses left Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald speechless.
"Every one of our first responders knew one or both of these families, being local kids [that died in the plane crash]," Fitzgerald said at the time. "Good kids, great athletes, it’s just very very tough on them and it just took a toll. I’m not usually at a loss for words... but I am."