Visitation held for mother killed in Wisconsin highway shooting

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Hundreds of family members and friends gathered Friday to remember Tracy Czaczkowski, who was shot and killed as she drove home from a family vacation in Wisconsin Dells. (WLS)

Hundreds of family members and friends gathered Friday to remember 42-year-old Tracy Czaczkowski, who was shot and killed as she drove home from a family vacation in Wisconsin Dells.

Czaczkowski's two children and husband were also in the car when shots were fired on I-90/94 near Lake Delton, Wis. She was airlifted to a hospital where she died.

Czaczkowski will be laid to rest over Mother's Day weekend. Her family received a police escort on the way to her visitation. It is a wrenching loss for many who knew and loved her. Dozens of family members flew into town to attend her services.

More than 120 miles away, in a Dane County courthouse, 30-year-old Jeremy Hays appeared in court. Police say Jeremy was riding in a Chevy Blazer with his brother Zachary, who is accused of firing the shot that killed Czaczkowski. Jeremy is charged with possession of a firearm.

Police chased the Hays brothers for nearly 20 miles before road spikes were used to stop them. Zachary is also suspected of killing his downstairs neighbor hours earlier in suburban Milwaukee.

Jeremy's lawyer told the court Friday that Jeremy wrestled one gun away from his younger brother and tried to stop him from firing three rounds into the Czaczkowski's family sedan. Police say Zachary fired the three .45 caliber rounds into the car anyway, striking Tracy in the neck and killing her. He is charged with murder.

Many Drug Enforcement Agency employees were in attendance; Tracy's husband was an employee of the agency for more than a decade.

"It's a sorrowful time in there and a beautiful day out here," said Dennis Wichern, DEA Chicago Special Agent.

"There's the daughter and son and family together on vacations and other trips, and the photos show a great family and a great extended family with their parents and their siblings," Wichern said.

And while Czaczkowski's family is aware of the charges, they are still numb with pain.

"I don't think they're there yet," Wichern said. "They are still dealing with the loss of Tracy. They believe in the justice system and that part will work its way through."

So far a GoFundMe campaign set up to benefit Czaczkowski's children has raised over $90,000. Click here to see that campaign.
Related Topics:
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