Two dead after standoff on Wisconsin highway - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Two dead after standoff on Wisconsin highway

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Oshkosh (WBAY) - A standoff that closed Highway 41 near Oshkosh for hours has ended. Two liquor store robbery suspects are dead.

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office says during the standoff police heard two gunshots inside the car, and they found a man and woman dead. Police did not fire any shots.

Police say the man and woman match the descriptions of suspects in the robbery at Payne's Point Liquor Store in Neenah just before 4:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

Officers pulled their car over on Highway 41 near the County Road Y overpass, between highways 45 and 76 in Winnebago County.

Officers tried several times to make contact with the people inside the car, they did not respond.

A standoff lasted about 90 minutes. During that time, a number of SWAT vehicles were called in.

"While officers had the scene stabilized, they heard two gunshots that appeared to come from inside the vehicle. At that time deputies approached the vehicle and found two suspects which matched the description of the individuals we were looking for in connection with the earlier robbery deceased inside the vehicle," Captain Mark Habeck, Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, said.

The manager at Payne's Point Liquor Store says a man in his late 20s calmly entered the store, put a handgun on the counter, and demanded money and lottery tickets. She says he got away with several hundred dollars but fled without any lottery tickets. She says the woman stayed in the car the entire time.

Authorities say since the robber had a gun, they closed the highway as a precaution.

"Due to the serious nature of the call, as well as concerns for public safety, it was critical that traffic be rerouted in order to protect the public interest," Habeck said.

Police barricades on the highway caught drivers by surprise and led to a massive backup. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says cars and trucks were lined up for miles in both directions for hours.

Highway 41 was fully reopened by 9 p.m. Wednesday night.

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