The Advance-Titan

UWO connected to Menasha shooting

UW Oshkosh administrators expressed their thoughts and condolences to those affected by the shooting at Menasha’s Trestle Trail Bridge on Sunday.

According to Menasha Police Chief Tim Styka, the shooter used two handguns to critically injure one person and kill three others, then himself.

“The shooter armed himself with two handguns,” Styka said in a press conference on May 4. “The shooter shot four victims, unprovoked and at close range. After shooting the four victims, the gunman then turned his weapons on himself.”

According to preliminary autopsy reports, Jonathan Stoffel was shot seven times and his daughter was shot three times. Adam Bentdahl was shot once.

The report also states Erin Stoffel was shot three times but is currently being treated at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah.

The gunman suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to the autopsy report.

At the press conference, Styka said the gunman had been in an argument with his girlfriend prior to the incident.

“The shooter was upset about recent relationship issues with his girlfriend,” Styka said. “ Earlier in the evening they had gotten into an argument at a residence in Menasha. After that argument, the girlfriend had left.”

According to Menasha police, UWO student Sergio Valencia del Toro was the shooter. UWO confirmed Valencia del Toro was a student at the University in a press release on May 4.

“Based on the information put out by the City of Menasha Police Department, we can confirm Sergio Valencia del Toro, 27, was a second-semester freshman at UW Oshkosh,” the press release stated.

According to UWO Chancellor Andrew Leavitt’s e-mail update to the campus, the University and officials are working with the Menasha Police Department.

“At this time, UW Oshkosh is cooperating with the investigation by the Menasha Police Department and there are no additional details to share,” Leavitt’s e-mail said.

When reached for a statement, Leavitt declined to comment and directed all inquiries to UWO Integrated Marketing and Communications Assistant Vice Chancellor Jamie Ceman.

Ceman reiterated the University and UWO police are working with Menasha police.

“From my understanding, our University Police Chief [Joseph LeMire] will be working with [Menasha police] directly, but we will cooperate with anything,” Ceman said.

According to UW Oshkosh Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Petra Roter, del Toro was a non-traditional student and Air Force Veteran who showed no signs he would act as he did on Sunday evening.

“He did well academically and really as an institution, other than him coming to class, we had no interaction with him,” Roter said.

Roter said del Toro never raised concerns from any campus community members for the University to think he was a risk to himself or the campus.

“He wasn’t on our reader screen, he really didn’t utilize any services except for the Veteran Student Services and that was related to his veteran benefits,” Roter said.

The Veteran Student Resource Center on campus declined to comment on the incident.

Roter said there was no indication del Toro was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.

“I don’t think he was being treated at the Student Health Center or the Counseling Center from what we’ve been able to determine,” Roter said.

According to Roter, the University is taken aback by this tragedy just as the rest of the community and those affected by the incident.

“We’re kind of in the same boat as everyone else,” Roter said. “Usually these things are unpredictable and random. We had no indication that this could happen.”

Roter said the University could only prevent such a situation if they are made aware of those students in distress or at risk.

According to Roter, UWO’s Student At Risk Response Team is one of those services to help respond to students who may be in trouble and they can assist once they are notified.

“[The source] could be anyone from the campus community,” Roter said. “It could be staff, professors, a peer or a friend that say something is not right with a particular student.”

According to Ceman, no one detected any kind of damaging or negative behavior from del Toro prior to Sunday’s incident.

“If there was something to raise a flag, [SARRT] would have been put into place,” Ceman said.

Ceman and Roter both said the University is sending its condolences to those affected by the shooting.

“I don’t think we have anything more to add other than our thoughts and condolences go out to those impacted by this tragedy,” Roter said.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
UWO connected to Menasha shooting