UPDATE: Murder Suspect Found Dead

UPDATE: Scholarship/memorial fund set-up on behalf of the victim

Suspect: Steven J. Weber

UPDATED Thursday, May 21, 2009 --- 3:45 p.m.

New Memorial Fund Set-up:

The family of Francie Weber has set-up a memorial trust fund for Jennifer and Stephanie Weber at all the branches of the UW Credit Union.


UPDATED Wednesday, May 20, 2009 --- 3:59 p.m.

Information from criminal complaint:

Weber was released from charges of Strangulation and Suffocation, plus one count each of Intentional Physical Abuse of a Child and Disarming a Peace Officer (both felonies) on Jan. 5, 2009.

He was let out of custody the next day with the condition that he not commit a crime, or have any contact with Francie Weber through May 15, 2009. The murder happened May 16.

Weber also told Julie Nyland, a bartender at Wildcat Lanes in Verona (a place she says he visited every morning), that he was going to go on a shooting rampage and was going to kill his ex-wife, Francie, and the Verona Police Department, adding that he has "plenty of guns."

The complaint also says Weber told one of his daughters that, "Instead of going to jail, I'm either going to Europe or shoot Francie, then shoot myself."

It also says he told his other daughter he felt like he had lost everything after being arrested and charged with beating his other daughter and Francie and losing his marriage and his house.

He told her a week or two before the shooting that he should just kill her mother

UPDATED Wednesday, May 20, 2009 --- 3:45 p.m.

Family Statement:

On behalf of the family of Francesca and Steven Weber, we would like to thank the community for their outpouring of support and concern as a result of the tragic events of the past few days. As you can imagine, it is an extremely difficult and trying time for our families as we begin to cope with the harsh and sudden events. Our focus as a family must be on assisting the children of Francesca and Steven in coping with the reality of what has happened and move forward to hopefully overcome the adversity they must now face alone.

A scholarship/memorial fund has been established on behalf of the children at:

Jennifer and Stephanie Weber Fund
Marshall and Ilsley Bank
7447 University Avenue
Middleton, WI 53562

The family would like to ask the media for privacy as we work our way through the grieving process and assist the children affected by this tragedy.


UPDATED Wednesday, May 20, 2009 --- 12:01 p.m.

The Dane County Coroner reports that the body recovered from Hoyt Park last night has been positively identified as Steven J. Weber, 49, of Verona.

Preliminary autopsy findings indicate that Weber died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


UPDATED: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 --- 4:50 a.m.

From Fitchburg Police:

The male subject found deceased in Hoyt Park, located in the City of Madison, Tuesday has been tentatively identified by the Dane County Coroner's Office as Steven J. Weber, 49, of Verona. The Dane County Coroner's Office will be completing a complete forensic medical examination to determine the cause of death.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 7:30 p.m.

From Madison Police:

The body of a male white was found in the bluffs area of Hoyt Park just after 7:00pm by Madison SWAT team.

This person appears to have passed by a self-inflicted wound. Madison Police Department does not believe any current threat remains to the Hoyt Park community.

The road blocks have been lifted and people are able to return to their homes and return to normal activity.

The Dane County Coroner has been called to the scene and will release the decedent's identity when they are able.

The Madison Police Department wishes to thank the people who were able to show patience during this time.

We are sorry for the inconvenience that this event caused however, we're happy to say that no other citizens or police officers were injured.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 4:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m. Statement from Madison Police Department:

MPD is still searching the area of Hoyt park for Steven Weber.

We are asking that people who live inside the parameter stay were they are. If they are inside their homes remain there. If they are outside of their homes, don't go into the area. People attempting to enter the area cause a danger to themselves and to the officers. This takes resources that are stretched thin already.

MPD is moving as fast as they possible can to make the area safe for all.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 3:10 p.m.

Under police direction, B-Bram buses and R-Regent supplemental school service buses are remaining at Hamilton Middle School until released by the Madison Police Department.

Also eastbound Route 14 will not travel on Blackhawk, Bluff and Franklin but instead detour up Midvale to University and continue on from there. Buses will return to regular routes only after given police clearance.

More information will be posted at mymetrobus.com as it becomes available.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 2:29 p.m.

Madison Police Statement, released at 2:29 p.m. ---

Madison Police Department is urging residents who live in the Hoyt Park area to exercise caution. The whereabouts of a wanted and possibly armed suspect are unknown. A truck belonging to Steven Weber, age 49, has been located in Hoyt Park.

A citizen reports seeing someone matching his description walking in the park, carrying items that are unknown at this time.

MPD has done a reverse 911 recommending people stay inside their homes with the doors locked and in the basement if they can for their safety.

MPD has many resources in the area and is attempting to control that area. Citizens should stay out of the area until advised via the media that the situation has been resolved.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 1:35 p.m.

NBC15's Chris Woodard spoke to Greg Weber, the brother of murder suspect Steve Weber.

Greg says he is surprised his brother is still in the area. Greg thought he'd be long gone. Also, he doesn't expect his brother will be found alive. In fact, he believes Steve is already dead.

Greg still lives in this neighborhood, and figures Steve wanted to come back to this area, partially because there are so many hiding places in the area parks.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 1:15 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Dozens of federal and local agents, some wearing camouflage, set up a perimeter around a Madison park Tuesday after a murder suspect's vehicle was discovered nearby.

Police say a pickup truck believed to be owned by Steve Weber was found Tuesday morning near the wooded Hoyt Park.

Staff, children and others at the Madison School & Community Recreation building in Hoyt School near the park were ordered to stay inside with doors locked.

Weber is suspected of fatally shooting his ex-wife, 47-year-old Francesca Weber, at her Fitchburg apartment last Saturday.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 1:00 p.m.

NBC15's Dana Brueck was just briefed by Madison PD:

Police are still searching the area near Hoyt Park for murder suspect Steve Weber. Police urge residents to avoid this area at this time. A reverse 911 call was made in these neighborhoods, urging residents to stay indoors.

As of 12:45 p.m., officers had not approached the vehicle yet -- they were waiting for bomb-squad equipment.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 11:55 a.m.

Hoyt School is under lock down. The building holds the Madison School and Community Recreation offices and some alternative programs. There are less than 20 students in the building most mornings. No other Madison Public schools are currently impacted.


UPDATED Tuesday, May 19, 2009 --- 11:26 a.m.

Madison police tell NBC15 News they have located the vehicle they believe is owned by homicide suspect Steve Weber.

Police are currently searching the Hoyt Park area on Madison's near west side.

NBC15's Dana Brueck says police are shutting down roads in the area and advising residents to stay away.

Tactical teams are headed to the area.

We will continue to update this developing news story and will have much more on NBC15 News at 4, 5 and 6 pm.


UPDATED Monday, May 18, 2009 4:30 p.m.

"It fits the pattern of domestic violence homicide," said Shannon Barry with Domestic Abuse Intervention Services.

Saturday afternoon Francine Weber of Fitchburg was murdered. Police are looking for her ex-husband Steve Weber. He is believed to be in a black Chevy pickup truck, with Wisconsin plates, AB6336. Police have no reason to believe that there are other targets, but a national alert was issued and he is considered armed and dangerous.

"This is a very concerning crime when it is committed in broad daylight and the violence associated with it," stated Officer Chad Brecklin with the Fitchburg PD.

"It is textbook," added Barry who says the writing was on the wall. In 2006 Francine Weber filed for a restraining order against her then-husband, only to have it revoked in 2007. Later a bail condition was issued that Steve have no physical contact with Francine, but that was ignored.

Said Barry, "This case unfortunately shows that a lot of victims stay in these situations because for them it feels safer to stay because they are more at risk of being killed when they leave."

A third of all arrest in Dane County are related to domestic violence. And DAIS receives 6600 calls to their crises line each year. But even with those alarming numbers the most frightening may be that one in four women will be the victim of domestic violence in their lifetimes and most will never be reported.

"He felt like he was losing power and so he took the ultimate form of power which was to murder her," Barry concluded.

Wisconsin is a mandatory arrest state for domestic abuse law. Meaning if an officer believes a crime has been committed within a domestic dispute the abuser must be arrested.

While Weber's whereabouts are unknown, police say he does have connections to the area and they believe he may possibly still in the Madison area.

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Steve Weber or if you would like more information about the Domestic Abuse Intervention Services click on Newslinks on this webchannel.


UPDATED Sunday, May 17, 2009 9:30 p.m.

From Madison Police:

Details Madison Police assisted the Fitchburg Police Department in attempting to locate homicide suspect Steven J. Weber.

Several addresses in the City of Madison had been developed as possible locations for the suspect.

Due to the violent nature of this case, the Madison SWAT team was utilized to check two residences in the Westmorland neighborhood and another on the South West side of the city.

The suspect was not located at any of the residences. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Any one having information related to the whereabouts of Weber should contact the Fitchburg police department.


UPDATED Sunday, May 16, 2009 --- 4:45 p.m.

From Fitchburg Police:

UPDATE: The victim in this shooting has died as a result of her injuries sustained. She has been identified as: Francine M. Weber , 47 years of age of Fitchburg. This is being treated as a Homicide Investigation.

The suspect in this case, Steve J. Weber is not in custody, and is still considered armed and dangerous.


UPDATED Sunday, May 16, 2009 -- 1:35 p.m.

Saturday's shooting has left many in the Fitchburg neighborhood shocked.

"Well it's kind of diverse and very...well it's usually quiet."

Last night, the silence was broken when officers responded to a call in the 5100 block of Anton Drive in Fitchburg.

"It's right over in there."

Jerry Williams is describing what happened Saturday night.

According to Williams at about six he heard several gun shots.

But it's what he saw next that he can't forget.

"I said, 'My goodness I just couldn't believe this is going on.'"

Williams was watching television when he heard the shots fired.

He came to his window looked across the parking lot and he saw a body lying on the ground.

"I turned around and I looked and I saw some guy with a gun firing a couple and the victim going to the ground."

"We live up in that building up there."

Kelly Kinippel lives in the same building as the victim.

She was returning from a trip to Green Bay when she noticed all the police activity.

"There was yellow police tape everywhere. We couldn't get into this lot back here and there was just police walking everywhere. "

Kinippel knows other people in the building and she was hoping all of her friends were ok.

"I wondered, ' Oh I hope that nothing bad had happened to anyone I had known.' "

As Williams heads to church and Kinippel goes back inside they both say they'll pray for the for the victim.

"I am praying for that family and I hope that everything works out."

No one else in the apartment complex was injured.

Police say the shooter, Steve Weber, is still on the loose.


UPDATED Saturday, May 16, 2009 --- 10:31 p.m.

Fitchburg Police say the suspect in this shooting is still at-large and is armed and dangerous. The suspect is Steve J. Weber, 49. He's 5-feet-7-inches and 190 pounds.

Weber was last seen wearing a jean jacket and light colored blue jeans. He is believed to be in a black Chevy pickup truck with Wisconsin registration AB6336.


UPDATED Saturday, May 16, 2009 --- 10:00 p.m.

Our crew at the scene says Fitchburg police believe there is no reason that anyone else in the apartment building is in danger after this incident.

Police are still searching for a suspect in what they're calling a suspicious shooting.


Posted Saturday, May 16, 2009 --- 9:44 p.m.

A shooting Saturday night leaves a woman with serious injuries.

Dane County dispatchers received a call just after 6 p.m. for a woman who was shot.

Fitchburg police responded to an apartment complex in the 5100 block of Anton Drive.

Dispatch says the woman was found behind the New Fountains Apartments. She was transported from the scene to UW hospital.

Fitchburg police has not released details of the incident.

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