Could the Wisconsin spa shooting have been prevented?

This photo provided by the Brookfield Police Dept. shows Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, 45, of Brown Deer, Wis. Deputies are searching for Haughton on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, who's suspected of wounding multiple people in a shooting at a spa near a suburban Milwaukee shopping mall. (Brookfield Police Dept)

October 22, 2012 4:19:49 PM PDT
Could the salon attack have been prevented? There were years of contacts between the shooter and local police.

There were numerous flags raised in the case of Radcliffe and Zina Haughton. There were domestic violence allegations against him going back to 2003 in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. The allegations involved threats and weapons, police and prosecutors from several agencies for almost a decade -- red flags until the very end.

There was no comment Sunday night from Brookfield's police chief to the question: Did Zina Haughton, the shooter's estranged wife, express concerns to police about her safety?

The Brookfield police interviewed Haughton two weeks ago after her estranged husband was in the salon parking lot slashing her tires.

"My husband thinks I am cheating on him," a note from Zina Haughton said. "He has cheated on me for twelve years... He threatened to throw acid in my face. His threats terrorize me every waking moment.

"He attacked me last week. He said he would kill me if I left him or ever contacted the police."

Even though police agencies, prosecutors and judges were familiar with Radcliffe Haughton's domestic abuse, last Thursday when he was ordered to stay away from his wife and turn in his gun, it was on the honor system. Haughton was known to own guns. Authorities in Wisconsin do not search for and seize guns under protective orders. Here in Illinois, they are pursued more aggressively, according to domestic violence experts and police. Domestic protection orders here are entered into a state police database obtainable by law enforcement so officers may retrieve guns instead of waiting for them to be turned in.

Two Wisconsin state lawmakers say they will reintroduce a bill that would ensure domestic violence suspects comply with judges' orders to surrender their weapons.