How tips led the Rock County Sheriffs Office to two men wanted for intentional homicide

JANESVILLE, Wis. – The Rock County Sheriff’s Office says tips from the public led them to two men wanted for first degree intentional homicide.

Police have both Ronald Hicks and Virgil Tate in custody, following a manhunt that lasted several weeks.

The two men are linked to a shooting in the Town of Rock on Dec. 7. Weeks later, Beloit Police helped to take Hicks into custody on Christmas Eve. Rock County Sheriff’s Captain Aaron Burdick said a tip let officers know he would be there.

“Public safety is our main concern,” Burdick said.

Over the weekend, police in Chicago arrested Tate on a felony arrest warrant. He’s currently awaiting extradition to Wisconsin.

Burdick says when deputies first arrived to the scene on Dec. 7, they weren’t sure what to make of the situation. While the caller had described a shots fired situation, there was no victim or suspects in the area.

“If you don’t have a victim immediately, it kind of slows things down to a certain degree,” Burdick said. “You have this evidence, you know that someone was injured based on witness testimony.”

Later on, police would learn that the victim had grabbed hold to a nearby vehicle after being shot, and rode the side of the car nearly four miles.

“That’s not something you hear every day,” Burdick said. “It almost seems outrageous when it comes in like that. It’s like, wow, what’s going on here?

Burdick said the victim, who survived and is not facing criminal charges, later helped provide details about their attackers.

Hicks and Tate are both awaiting initial court appearances.