WISCONSIN, United States, Wednesday October 24, 2012 – Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, the sole suspect in Sunday’s mass murder at a spa in suburban Milwaukee, had claimed to be Jamaican, according to media reports.
Authorities say Haughton, 45, killed three women at the Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield, including his 42-year-old wife Zina Haughton, and wounded four others before turning the gun on himself.
Brookfield Police Chief Dan Tushaus said Haughton, a resident of Brown Deer, Wisconsin, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was found in the spa.
Police released little about Haughton other than a physical description and a photograph, but media reports said that Haughton had described himself as being divorced and a 1985 graduate of Wheeling High School in Illinois. He had named his employer as Haughton International Fairs and claimed that his hometown was Kingston, Jamaica.
Authorities said they believed the shooting was related to a domestic dispute. Haughton’s wife had recently been granted a restraining order against him.
In a written request for the restraining order filed October 8, Zina Haughton said her husband was convinced she was cheating on him and had threatened to throw acid in her face. He had also vowed to burn her and her family with gas, and said he would kill her if she ever left him or called the police, according to court papers.
“His threats terrorize my every waking moment,” she wrote.
In a separate police report, Zina Haughton said they were in the process of getting a divorce and “we are always arguing.”
Radcliffe Haughton was arrested earlier this month for slashing his wife’s car tires; she was granted a four-year restraining order against him on Thursday.
Under the order, Haughton was prohibited from owning a firearm. But police said that he bought the .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun used in the deadly shooting two days later.
Police responded last year to reports of domestic violence at the Haughtons’ home. Radcliffe Haughton was charged with disorderly conduct following the 90-minute standoff with police, but the charge was later dismissed because a witness failed to appear in court.
Meanwhile, spa customers described Zina Haughton as a popular hair stylist who decorated her work station with pictures of her two daughters.
“She was a wonderful mom,” Kristin Guadagno told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “She had two daughters who were the foundation of her family. She was their everything. She worked so many hours every week to provide for them and take them on nice trips.”
The shootings took place about 11:00am Sunday and triggered chaos in the commercial area around the spa. Believing Haughton had fled, police began a massive six-hour search that locked down a nearby mall, country club and hospital before he was found dead in a locked room at the scene of the killings.