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Officials: Love triangle leads to fatal shooting in Wind Lake home invasion

Officials: Love triangle leads to fatal shooting in Wind Lake home invasion

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WIND LAKE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The man accused of breaking into a Wind Lake home and shooting another man to death on Dec. 26, has been formally charged. Investigators believe the shooting stemmed from a love triangle. 

Troy Hoffmann of New Berlin, faces the following charges: 

  • First degree intentional homicide
  • Attempted first degree intentional homicide
  • Felony mistreatment of animals

"The defendant’s been charged with three counts. Count one is first degree intentional homicide- use of a dangerous weapon subjecting him to life imprisonment plus five years, count two is attempted first degree intentional homicide- use of a dangerous weapon subjecting him to a total imprisonment of 65 years, count three is felony mistreatment of animals use of a dangerous weapon subjecting him to a $10,000 fine, 7.5 years or both,” said Dirk Jensen with the Racine County District Attorney's Office. 

Investigators say during the home invasion, Bickler’s dog Tucker was also fatally shot.

According to a criminal complaint, 40-year-old Hoffmann was upset after finding out his girlfriend's "current love interest" was 42-year-old Chad Bickler. Together Hoffmann and Bickler worked at Engineered Security Solutions, Inc.

Investigators say Hoffmann sent threatening texts to his girlfriend about how he was going to see and kill Bickler. The couple ended up outside Bickler's home on Loomis Road on Dec. 26, where they got into an argument. 

During the argument, officials say Hoffmann's girlfriend saw he had a black handgun and fearing for her life, she ran toward the street "to get an accurate address and call police."

Officials say she watched as Hoffmann walked up to Bickler’s home and heard shots going off. Hoffmann then exited the home and began walking back toward his girlfriend, firing his gun at her. Hoffmann’s girlfriend told investigators she ran to avoid getting shot.

Authorities interviewed another person who was in the residence with Bickler at the time of the shooting. She told officials she was in the living room when she heard loud sounds coming from outside and Bickler went to the kitchen and was shot. The witness told investigators she ran upstairs to hide.

The Racine County Sheriff's Office arrived to find Bickler shot multiple times in the kitchen. He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Hoffmann left the county after the shooting, but eventually turned himself in to Hustisford police on Friday.

”The pre-meditation behind this act, the violence which was involved, the attempt on another individual who was not injured and the fact that this defendant then fled the jurisdiction, did turn himself in admittedly, but he did flee the area and had to be brought back, I think anything less than $750,000 cash would be inappropriate,” adds Jensen. 

Hoffmann appeared in court on Monday, Dec. 30 where bond was set by Racine County court commissioner, John Bjelajac at $750,000.

"The evidence is strong," said Bjelajac. 

He's due back for another appearance on Jan. 9 at 8:30 a.m. 

Meantime, Bickler's brother -- Clayton -- created a GoFundMe for funeral costs and related expenses. 

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