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Community mourns officer's death

Jennifer Luick shot outside Jefferson bar on Sunday

Dec. 7, 2009

Lake Country is consumed with grief today as people who knew Town of Oconomowoc Police Officer Jennifer Luick remember her life.

Luick - who was off duty at the time - was the victim of a shooting early Sunday outside the Rock Bottom Saloon in Jefferson.

Authorities responded to the shooting at about 1:25 a.m. Luick later died at a local hospital. Also fatally injured was Gregg Peters, 40, who is thought to be Luick's boyfriend. He was airlifted to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, where he later died.

Since Sunday's shooting, a group Facebook page, R.I.P. Jenni Luick and Gregg Peters, has been created that is full of notes from the more than 700 family and friends who have joined as of this writing. Luick also has an 11-year-old son, Colton. According to the Facebook page, a memorial fund for him has been set up at Associated Bank in Racine under Jenni Luick Memorial.

The Fort Atkinson Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and Jefferson Police Department have been working together on the case and arrested 24-year-old Andrew Wirth a short time after the shooting as a suspect.

Police also served two search warrants Sunday, according to a Jefferson Police Department press release. Wirth was charged in Jefferson County Court for speeding earlier this year but has no other criminal history, according to court documents. No further information was available by press time; the shooting remains under investigation.

Luick, 37, who has served in the town for the past six years, is remembered as outgoing.

"It's rough on the department. Jenni was a great officer and had great rapport with people. This will be a tremendous loss for the community," said Town of Oconomowoc Police Chief James Wallis.

Luick has worked throughout the area, serving in different roles in the Village of Oconomowoc Lake, City of Oconomowoc, Town of Waterford and Town of Oconomowoc.

Town of Waterford Police Chief Thomas Ditscheit knew Luick both professionally and personally. The chief was friends with her father, who is retired from the Milwaukee Police Department and lives on Lake Tichigan.

"I did work with her as a police officer. She worked both water patrol (on the Fox River) and street patrol," Ditscheit said. "Because he (her father) was on the lake, I would get to see him and Jennifer even off duty; they are very good family people."

Ditscheit said he could never say anything negative about Luick "because there wasn't anything," and he echoed Wallis' comments on Luick's outgoing nature.

"She was a very personable person to work with, I enjoyed it and she was very good at her job," he said.

City of Oconomowoc Police Chief Dave Beguhn said he knew Luick a bit through staff contacts when she worked for the city as a dispatcher.

"Most of my staff are very familiar (with her) and feel very badly. It's a very sad place to here right now. Because of our relationships with smaller agencies, we have a lot of contact with departments through working together. Pretty much everybody knows everyone else … we have lunch. She was a very nice person, very pleasant," the chief shared.

On Monday, Wallis said he did not yet know of plans for a memorial service. "We're respecting the family's wishes, and as soon as they communicate that to us, we will accommodate with whatever they need," he said.

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Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

The Art of the Bicycle: Dec. 17-20, Delafield Arts Center, 719 Genesee St., Delafield. Diane Lehman, Peter Kudlata and Wheel & Sprocket. Gallery Hours: Wednesday through Friday: 11am-4pm; first and third Saturdays of each month: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and by appointment. Free. http://www.delafieldartscenter.org/.

Country Christmas Outdoor Drive-through Lights Display: 5-9 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 5-10 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and holidays through Dec. 31. Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Wisconsin’s largest drive-through holiday lights event features more than a million holiday lights along a mile-long trail that winds through the woods, Includes animated figures and holiday scenes. Call (262) 970-5398 for details., $15-$25. $15 per carload, $25 limo, mini-coach or large van http://www.thecountrychristmas.com.

Nutcracker Ballet: 7 p.m. Dec. 19; 1 p.m., 7 p.m. Dec. 20; 2 p.m. Dec. 21, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 East Forest Street, Oconomwoc. Mainstage Academy of Dance performs this beloved Tchaikovsky ballet, a holiday classic the whole family will enjoy. Visit www.theoac.net for more information or tickets. $14-$16 http://www.wedancemainstage.com 

Tom Heideman’s Swamp Party: 9:30 p.m. Dec. 20, Delafield Brewhaus, 3832 Hillside Drive, Delafield. For more information call (262) 646-7821.

Updates to this calendar are made weekly Monday afternoon. 

 

All weekend happenings.