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PATCH: 7 People Shot at Spa Near Wisconsin Mall

Suspect still at large following Sunday morning shooting at spa near mall at Milwaukee suburb. Suspect may be estranged husband of a spa employee.

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Latest update: 2:00 p.m. PST

Brookfield, WI - Three people have died, and at least seven people have been shot this morning at the Azana Spa across the street from the Brookfield Square mall.

The Associated Press is reporting that three people have died, while other reports say as many as a dozen have been shot by the gunman, who is still at large as of 2 p.m.

Patch has learned the man wanted by police is apparently the estranged husband of one of the hair stylists at the spa.

A spa employee told Patch the hair stylist has been having problems since she left her husband. The man is believed to have slashed car tires in the parking lot of the spa and the business recently put up signs on most of its doors warning employees to keep them locked at all times.

The employee who spoke to Patch said the woman's estranged husband was out of work and his wife was working every day to bring in money to pay the bills. However, she recently decided to leave him, and that's when the problems started.

The two have two daughters, ages 12 and 21, the Azana employee told Patch.

A bomb squad was called to the scene after 1 p.m. after an explosive device was believed to be in the spa building.

Earlier reports said Brookfield Square Mall was on lockdown following the shooting, however, as of 1:20 p.m. people were allowed to leave the mall. Mall employees told Patch that they have received little information about the incident and have not been told whether to close their businesses.

Newsradio 620 WTMJ's is reporting that authorities are searching for a 6-foot 1-inch, 270 pound with a bald head and brown eyes. He was reportedly driving a black 2003 Mazda. Authorities believe he may be from Brown Deer.

One witness told WISN-TV that the shooter had a machine gun.

Brookfield police have not provided any details on the incident as of 1:45 p.m. CST.

A spokeswoman for Froedtert Hospital told Patch: “We have been notified that some are coming," but had no information on how many victims there were.

FOX6 News is reporting that four people have been taken to Froedtert with non-life-threatening injuries and that three more are on their way. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that there may be eight victims altogether.

Froedtert was put on lockdown at about 1:30 p.m., but there was no official word on the reason for that.

The incident happened about 11 a.m.

Tactical units entered the spa building. There are at least 15 ambulances on the scene from multiple jurisdictions.

The roads around Brookfield Square have been closed.

Sally Flaschberger, of Brookfield, is counting herself lucky after she was running late for her pedicure appointment at the salon Sunday morning. She was about to turn into the salon at about 11:15 a.m. when she was a police officer with a rifle running in the parking lot to get behind her car.

“She was a very brave woman whoever that cop was,” Flaschberger said. “She was the only person there.  … She looked pretty alone at that point.”

Flaschberger turned into the Brookfield Square Parking lot instead. That’s when she saw the Brookfield Police Department responding in force. She can’t believe that something like this would happen at the salon where she’s been a client for years.

“I am just very lucky, very, very lucky,” Flaschberger said. “I can’t imagine the poor people who were there, just trying to enjoy their day on a Sunday.”

One mall customer, Lisa Taylor of Sussex, told Patch that the mall employees have not been told whether to stay on their jobs or leave the building.

David Gosh, of West Allis, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he was driving past when they saw a woman coming from the salon and the shooter chasing her before the shooter ran into the building or behind the building.

"She ran right out into the street and was pounding on cars," Gosh told the Milwaukee newspaper.

The Brookfield shooting comes approximately 10 weeks after Wade Michael Page opened fire at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, killing six people and injuring four more, including Oak Creek police Lt. Brian Murphy on Aug. 5.

The Brookfield Police Department is familiar with mass shooting incidents. In 2005, Terry Ratzmann opened fire during a Living Church of God worship service at the Sheraton Hotel, killing seven before turning the gun on himself.

Patch will update this story as more details become available.

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