On a dreadful Sunday, November 21, 2004, during the gun deer hunting season 8 hunters from Northern Wisconsin were shot dead by Chia Soua Vang, a California National Guard Member, who was a sharpshooter with US Army basic training in the year 1989. The event happened north of Birchwood. The hunters Mark Roidt, Al Laski, Denny Drew, Bob & Joe Crotteau, Jessica & Terry Willers and Lauren Hesebeck were on the property for a hunting venture when Vang trespassed on the property.
The hunters asked him to leave after spotting him on the hunter’s deer stands. Agitated Vanga took his rifle and shot continuously emptying 20 round clip of a Saiga rifle that killed eight hunters, 6 of whom were shot in the back while trying to flee the place. At that point of time, only one hunter was armed. Some were shot more than once. Vang was immediately apprehended by the DNR warden. He was found guilty of six counts of first degree intentional homicide and three counts of attempted first degree intentional homicide. Vang is not in Iowa prison where he will spend rest of his life. The verdict came on September 16, 2005.
Despite more than a decade gone by the tragedy has seemed to remain fresh in the minds of the near and dear that are unable to forget their beloveds. The grief is immeasurable, and the town will never be able to forget this tragedy for years to come. Though the normal routine has set in the lives of the family and friends of the deceased life will not be the same again. The family misses their loved ones for every festival, functions, and special family gatherings. The emptiness will persist despite time being the best healer to heal the wounds that have been inflicted for no wrong of the deceased. May the grace of God be with the families and help them make strong.
May their soul rest in peace!