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Family questions releasing the suspect in deadly Madison shooting

Brian Swan was killed in a shooting on Monday night on Madison’s West side.
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The family of a shooting victim on Madison’s west side is voicing their concerns after a homicide suspect was released from the Dane County Jail on Wednesday afternoon.

The Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne shared a statement saying evidence suggests the shooter was acting in self-defense.

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet identified the victim in Monday’s shooting. The family has shared his name and photos of him with NBC15.

Brian Swan was 53 years old and a father and grandfather.

Daughters Amanda Harman and Jessica Swan say their father’s personality always brought a smile to their face.

“He was a very funny guy. He was a very loving guy,” said Amanda Harman, Swan’s daughter. “He’s just somebody who had a good heart.”

“He was my best friend,” said Jessica Swan, another one of his daughters. “We had the same sense of humor.”

Both daughters say they’re left with questions after Doyle Jay Reifert was released as a suspect in their father’s death.

“It’s just not right,” said Harman.

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office has not released the name of the man killed in Monday night’s shooting but his...

Posted by Gabriella Rusk NBC15 on Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Swan and Reifert both rented rooms in a house on Harley Drive on Madison’s west side.

The landlord says he’s had issues in the past with Reifert paying his rent on time and acting aggressively toward the other tenants. He also claims Reifert has a history of paranoid and violent behavior.

“This person is dangerous,” said landlord David, who requested his last name not be used. “I’m fearful for everybody. Everybody here says he should be locked up for life.”

Dist. Atty. Ismael Ozanne explained his office determined Reifert was in the room he rented when the person who died in the shooting entered “forcibly and unlawfully,” then, that person reportedly refused to leave and took an aggressive stance against Reifert.

Based on that, the district attorney stated the state’s self-defense statute that is commonly known as the Castle Doctrine applied.

“The law does not permit me to consider whether Mr. Reifert had an ability to flee or retreat from this situation and I am required to presume that Mr. Reifert reasonably believed the force used was necessary,” Ozanne wrote in the statement.

The family is hoping to get their questions answered by the DA’s office later this week.

“I can’t believe it. I can’t process it,” said Harman.

“There needs to be justice,” said Swan.

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