Beloit police investigate double shooting; multiple shooters on the run

BELOIT, Wis. - Beloit police are on the lookout for multiple suspects who left the scene of a double shooting early Saturday morning.

Police said there were officers in the area who heard multiple shots fired near Eighth Street and Euclid Avenue. The officers found two victims, a 29-year-old Beloit man and a 19-year-old Rockford woman. The man was shot in the buttocks and the woman was shot in the head, police said.

The man was treated and released from Beloit Memorial Hospital. The woman was taken to UW Hospital in critical but stable condition.

"They were in the right place at the right time when this occurred," Chief David Zibolski said about his officers. "Otherwise, we could have easily not had any suspect information, no vehicles, and we would just have a scene, a very chaotic scene, with some folks shot."

Police said the suspects drove away from the scene, but witnesses gave the officers a description of the car. Police found the car near Fourth Street and Portland Avenue and tried to pull the suspects over, but the car sped away.

Officers laid down stop sticks, which caused the suspects' car to lose control as the driver tried to take the Interstate 39/90 ramp from Milwaukee Road. The car landed in a field between the on-ramps for I-39 North and I-43 West. Police said the suspects then tried to drive onto the I-43 West ramp and went about a quarter-mile before the suspects ran from the car into a heavily wooded area.

Zibolski said K-9 teams from surrounding law enforcement agencies helped set up a perimeter and tried to track down the suspects, but they weren't able to pick up a scent. He said police do not know how many suspects were involved but said there were multiple shooters.

Officials also said a citizen found a firearm on the ground near Fourth Street and Portland Avenue, where the police chase started.

"Great work on the citizen's part to pick that up so some kid or someone doesn't get hurt," Zibolski said. "That'll be a critical piece of evidence, and it's those type of things that we really appreciate the community stepping forward, working with us on these kinds of investigations, and that's what makes them solvable."

He said the shooting started after a dispute or disturbance of some sort between a large group of people having a party. Zibolski said it appeared that everyone at the party knew each other. 

Neighbors in the area said police had much of Eighth Street and Euclid Avenue blocked off Saturday morning while searching for evidence.

"The shame about it is there's a lot of people that live on this street that are trying to improve the area," said Raymond Pelletier, who lives down the street from where the shooting happened. "And then you have those that just take advantage of whatever is going on."

Police said they were making good progress on the case but need help from the community to identify everyone involved. Anyone with information is asked to call the Beloit Police Department at 608-364-6800 or Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers at 608-362-7463.

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