Eau Claire (WQOW) - Just five days after a terrible double loss, the Lantz family opens up to News 18.
As is their protocol, Eau Claire police have, so far, been tight-lipped about the sequence of events surrounding the deaths of Karie and Dean Lantz.
In an emotional interview, two of their children, Joey Lantz and Angelina Schnook, spoke with News 18 about what they discovered on that tragic day.
Both Angelina and Joey are working through the loss of their parents the best way they know how. But, both said they had a gut feeling something was wrong on Monday.
Angelina said she called police around 3 p.m. telling them her dad shot her mom and then shot himself. She said there's no question as to what happened.
Angelina said the family knew something was wrong when Karie didn't show up to work on Monday. Dean and Karie were going through a divorce and both missed an appointment with their lawyer that afternoon.
Angelina went to their home on Crescent Avenue and found her mother's car running in the driveway with the front door to the home cracked open. That's when she discovered her parents lying on the floor and said her father had a gun in his hand.
"I had walked into the house and into the living room, and I really didn't understand why they were laying on the floor until I was standing over my mom,” Angelina said, and that was when she decided to call police.
"What I saw, that is the only explanation. I'm not holding on to some thread of hope that the police will come to me and tell me that they were set up, that it was a set up to frame my dad, but that's based on what I saw,” Angelina said. “What I saw does not, like I said, match with who my dad was."
Angelina said although they knew something was wrong, they never imagined their father would take the life of their mother before taking his own. Angelina said there was never a concern of violence, and Dean had never shown violence towards their family.
"Seeing the gun was so bizarre because he never owned a gun. He never went shooting. He never went hunting,” Angelina said. “It took me a little bit to, I mean I know what a gun looks like, but seeing it in his hand, doesn't make sense to me."
News 18 asked Angelina and Joey what comes to mind when they think about who their parents were, and they said how hardworking they were and how everything they did was for their children.
Another aspect of this story has been centered around Joey's arrest. He was taken in to custody on Monday for interfering with police as he tried to get to the family's home.
Joey said as he was pulling up to the first of three police barricades Monday afternoon he got a call from his sister. He said he knew what she was going to say, that his parents were dead. After getting past the barriers he got out of his car and ran towards Angelina when he was stopped by police He said he could hear officers yell 'taze him' as he ran. Joey told News 18 he was surprised police were not allowing him inside the home. When he got to the door he said he was tackled by about five officers. They wrestled on the ground for five to ten minutes before he gave up and they hauled him to a nearby squad car.
Joey told News 18 he understands that he was entering a crime scene, but said he's frustrated that police were not more sensitive to his situation.
"It was a tragedy for the family and that didn't really seem to be their first concern, is how can we help you or how are you dealing with it. Every time I asked all I kept getting is, this is protocol this is protocol. Every time I asked a question everything was all about protocol and I was just getting very upset with that," Joey said.
Lantz was arrested for obstructing a police officer and disorderly conduct. He spent two days in jail before his bond hearing on Wednesday. On Thursday Eau Claire Police Chief Gerald Staniszewski issued a statement on the arrest.
A GoFundMe page has been started in the Lantz' name to help with funeral expenses. A scholarship fund has also been established to help send their youngest daughter to college. News 18 recently learned a candlelight vigil will be held outside of the Lantz home on Friday at 7 p.m.
Posted on February 10, 2017:
Eau Claire (WQOW) – A brother and sister from Eau Claire are remembering their parents after a tragic incident that took place on Monday near Eau Claire's west side.
Angel and Joey said there have been an outpour of support from friends and the Chippewa Valley community. The family created a Facebook page in Karie's memory, where they said the community can find updates, share fond memories and learn more about how they can help the Lantz family.