Salon shooting

Wife of Brookfield gunman was hero

CREATED Oct. 22, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct. 22, 2012

  • Print

BROOKFIELD - A woman who says she was inside a Brookfield salon where four people were found dead tells us the estranged wife of the gunman was a hero before being shot.
"I know more people would have been killed if it wasn't for her," said Betty Brunner.

She told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jay Sorgi during "Wisconsin's Morning News" and TODAY'S TMJ4's "Live at Daybreak" she was inside to have Zina Haughton do her hair.

Zina went to give Brunner a cup of coffee and was about 10 feet from the door when Zina's husband came in with a gun.

"She just kept saying, 'Sir, calm down.  Sir, what can I do for you," according to Betty.

"Zina immediately jumped in, got in front of the reception desk, tried diffusing the situation, talked to him, said this was a place of peace."

Brunner says Radcliffe Haughton then took Zina around the corner and shot her. 

"When the bullets were going and mirrors broke, I kept telling everyone 'I can't believe it.  I don't have one scratch on me,' " Brunner explained in another interview with TODAY'S TMJ4's Tom Murray.

Radcliffe left a backpack in the salon and went toward Brunner.

"I rolled myself into the wall and pretended I was dead, so he wouldn't come to me.  That's when he went up the stairs."

Betty explained that her experience as a nurse and lessons from her husband, a retired police officer, helped her to stay calm.

"I heard the sound...I knew someone was seriously injured.  As a nurse, you know certain sounds.  I tried to find where that sound was coming from if I could have gotten there, but I couldn't see anything," she said to Murray.

Then, she waited on the ground until police got into the salon.

"They were counting who the victims were," she further told Sorgi.  

"When the officer was towards me, I just gave him a thumbs up.  He told me to run out.  We ran out to the first squad.  One of the women was shot in the shoulder and the leg.  I helped get her in a car."

Betty says Zina did her best to try and save lives.

"She was amazing."