WIND LAKE — A Wind Lake man is dead and his coworker is in jail, accused of shooting him in his home and leading police on a manhunt.
Flowers, an angel, and a special marker now sit outside Chad Bickler’s home to remember a man they said had a big personality and a smile that lit up a room.
“We’re all broken. This is unthinkable,” said Brian Johnson, the cousin of Bickler.
Thursday night neighbors heard gunshots at Bickler’s house. They saw a man walking up and driveway and shooting at the house. He shot Chad Bickler and his dog, Tucker, and kept firing.
"I see a guy shoot at her. She gets up by the road, shoots at her again. They went around vehicles, disappeared,” said a neighbor.
Johnson said right before the shooting Chad’s brother Clayton Bickler, left the house to grab take out for dinner.
“The only thing I really do know is, thank God, his brother, Clay went out to grab pizza locally and those few minutes he was out was when he came back to that devastation,” said Johnson.
Investigators said the suspect, Troy Hoffman, shot multiple times but only hit Bickler. He ran from the scene afterward. Bickler’s brother returned him to see his brother dying.
“He got to hold his brother one last time and tell him that he loves him and give him a kiss. Then he faded away right in his arms,” said Johnson.
Investigators said Hoffman, 40, was Chad’s coworker.
The company Engineered Security Solutions, Inc., from New Berlin released this statement:
"We are devastated by this senseless tragedy and are praying for our colleague and his family. He was a friend, an outstanding performer, a trusted teammate and an all-around wonderful person. He will be greatly missed. We will do everything in our power to assist law enforcement with their investigation. In the meantime, we are working to support our colleagues as we all come to terms with this unimaginable loss,” said Brian Bautz, Owner and CEO of Engineered Security Solutions, Inc.
The family set up this donation page to help with the funeral expenses.