45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield, WI after he shot 7 women, killing three of them. Haughton’s estranged wife, whom had a restraining order against him, was working at the spa at the time of the shootings.
On October 8, Haughton was ordered by police to stay away from his wife and surrender his firearms after he slashed the tires on her car. In addition, he had two previous domestic violence citations, one a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge from January 8, 2011.
While authorities did not release whether or not Haughton’s wife was among the victims, all of those shot were females between the ages of 22 and 40. Of the four wounded, three were reported in satisfactory condition while one remained in critical condition at a local hospital.
A.R.S. 13-3601 defines domestic violence in Arizona as any of the following acts, if (a) the victim and defendant are married or formerly married, or reside in the same household, if (b) the victim and the defendant have a child in common, if (c) the victim or defendant is pregnant by the other party, if (d) the victim is related to the defendant or their spouse by blood or court order, or (e) the victim and the defendant are or were in a romantic or sexual relationship:
-Homicide, including manslaughter, first and second degree murder
-Dangerous crimes against children
-Criminal damage to property
A.R.S. 13-3601 also states that a police officer may question the people who are present at the time of the arrest to determine whether or not a firearm is on the premises. Upon learning or observing that a firearm is present, the officer may temporarily seize the firearm if they reasonably believe that the firearm would expose the victim or another person in the household to a risk of serious bodily injury or death. The police officer will give the owner of the firearm a receipt for each seized firearm, and the victim will be notified by authorities when the firearm has been given back to the owner.
While all forms of domestic violence are troubling, it is especially unfortunate when a death occurs. Arizona courts do not look kindly on those charged with domestic violence and generally prosecute these cases to the highest extent of the law. In addition, if your firearms were seized as a result of a domestic violence charge, it can be extremely difficult to get your gun rights back without the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.