Investigators: Man who killed Wisconsin officers had history of domestic problems

The man who killed two police officers in a roadside shootout in northwestern Wisconsin last month was struggling with a divorce and didn’t like getting "pushed around" by police, state investigators said in a report released Friday.

Glenn Douglas Perry, 50, of New Auburn, shot and killed Chetek police Officer Emily Breidenbach and Cameron police Officer Hunter Scheel during a traffic stop in Cameron on April 8. Perry was hit during an exchange of gunfire and later died from his wounds.

The state Justice Department has been investigating the incident and released nearly 1,000 pages of documents detailing its findings.

According to the report, Perry’s ex-wife told investigators that she thought Perry was schizophrenic, carried guns in his vehicle and slept with a gun under his pillow. She said he talked "to stuff that is not there" and threatened multiple people, including court officials involved in their divorce.

An ex-girlfriend told investigators that she met Perry on a dating app about two years ago when he was working as a trucker. She said his behavior "slowly started to spiral downhill" and he bought guns every week, saying the country was going to war. At one point, he had five guns in the trunk of his vehicle, she said, according to the documents. Both women’s names were redacted.

Barron County Sheriff’s Deputy Jonathan Fick told investigators that he had multiple encounters with Perry since he joined the sheriff’s department in 2017, usually through traffic stops and calls involving Perry and his ex-wife. He described Perry’s divorce as "really bad" and said Perry had been accused of stalking and harassing her. He said Perry would sometimes "act crazy and try to fight law enforcement."

Sheriff’s deputies told investigators that a captain sent an email on the morning of the incident saying Perry was wanted on a warrant for failing to pay child support. Officers should use caution when dealing with him because he was known to be armed and his mental status was declining, the email said.

Deputy Kari Storberg, who was one of the first to respond to the shooting, was on patrol that afternoon when she heard Breidenbach inform dispatchers she had located Perry’s vehicle and that she and Scheel planned to stop him. Storberg heard a dispatcher relay the cautions about Perry but didn’t hear Breidenbach acknowledge the transmission.

One of Perry’s friends whose name also was redacted said Perry was upset with the county court system over child support payments and he mentioned "something in a text about killing someone." The friend said Perry was upset that his ex-wife told people he was a domestic abuser and a bad father.

Perry didn’t like getting "harassed or pushed around" by police, the friend added. Perry told him that if he got pulled over and didn’t agree with it, he would argue about it and open fire if he felt threatened, the friend said.

Cameron is a village of 1,700 people in northwestern Wisconsin. Chetek is a city of about 2,200 people roughly 9 miles (14 kilometers) southeast of Cameron.