'Mix of emotions': Victims of fatal Kewaskum shootings remembered by their families

’Mix of emotions’: Victims of fatal Kewaskum shootings remembered by their families

KEWASKUM, Wis. (CBS 58) -- We are learning more about the man accused of killing two men in the Town of Kewaskum. Nicholas Pingel, 30, is now dead after a shootout with deputies after his killing spree. 

CBS 58 sat down with a man who says Pingel was staying with him hours before the incident. Washington County sheriff's officials say Pingel shot and killed 72-year-old Ray Engelking and 77-year-old Carl Halvorsen on Feb. 3 in Kewaskum.

David Nelson says he knew Pingel from around the way. He invited him into his West Bend home a few times. He says Pingel treated him with respect and he never would have thought he was capable of crime like this. 

“He had a good heart but he was a violent person," Nelson said. 

Nelson said the night before the deadly shooting, Pingel seemed a little out of it. 

"Kind of talking to himself, throwing up signs at the window, just hand signals," Nelson said. 

The next morning, Pingel was gone.

Officials say Pingel broke into Engelking’s home and there was a struggle. Pingel shot Engelking with his own gun.

Pingel then made his way Halvorsen’s home—which was a few doors down. Officials say Pingel shot and killed him with a shotgun he stole from Halvorsen’s house.

“I’ve been in shock the last day since I heard the news, I couldn’t believe he was in my home," said Rhett Engelking, Ray Engelking's son. 

While Nelson is in still in disbelief, the families of Engelking and Halvorsen are wallowing in grief.

“It’s been a mix of emotions to anger, sadness to a bit of despair," Rhett said. 

Ray Engelking's son, Rhett, says he was a great dad and a mentor like no other. He taught economics for decades and students loved his teaching methods.

“He made economics, otherwise a boring subject entertaining," said Rhett. 

Carl Halvorsen’s family says it’s a tough pill to swallow. His family says he was an avid outdoorsman and a sports fan. Halvorsen worked as a semi driver and was employee by Cedar Valley Cheese.

Documents show Pingel had a criminal history of disorderly conduct, misdemeanor battery, criminal trespassing, burglary, and theft.

Officials say Pingel also had mental issues.

Rhett says he wishes Pingel had the chance to meet his father before he killed him. He says he thinks his dad would have helped Pingel look at life through a different lens.

“This man who invaded their home, if he would have seen who he was sitting across from and communicated the trouble he was in," said Rhett.

The Engelking family has set up a scholarship fund in his honor. CLICK HERE for more. 

Share this article: