MILWAUKEE (WISN) — A former Carroll University adjunct professor on at least three separate occasions late last week labeled Parkland, Florida, school shooter Nikolas Cruz a "hero" for the rampage that left 17 people dead.
Timothy Hoeller, now charged with disorderly conduct, was reportedly upset about being terminated from the university and an unwillingness of staff to reinstate him or provide a positive letter of reference, a criminal complaint filed Monday in Waukesha County court said.
Hoeller allegedly made the comment in two separate Feb. 23 phone calls: once with a staff member at a law firm he was trying to obtain and a second time with a police detective investigating that call.
Similar comments were allegedly made in a fax sent to the university, the Wisconsin Department of Justice and Gov. Scott Walker's office.
The complaint quotes Hoeller's fax message as saying:
"The shooter in Florida was a hero to me, because he clearly had a mental disability for which the schools were not going to accommodate him. The school where he went eventually marginalized his existence so his only way to success was to use his fascination with guns and shoot innocent people at the same campus. It is not beyond Carroll University to know about how an educational institution is to deal with someone with a perceived or actual mental illness whether they shut they (sic) out of school or not. One school shooting is happening after another. This pattern is not going to go away. The school (Carroll University) is more likely to be sued for not assisting me in a recommendation, than give a recommendation that misses the mark. They are also more likely to find shooters come on campus when they omit a duty of care than doing a duty of care half assed backwards."
During questioning, Hoeller said it was never his intention to visit Carroll's university and shoot people, the complaint said.
In his initial court appearance Wednesday, Hoeller told court commissioner Laura Lau that he wanted to represent himself in the case and repeatedly argued for his bond to be lowered. Lau instead raised Hoeller's bond to $1,000 and ordered an evaluation to determine his competency.
"I don't have guns. I'm on a list I can't buy guns. I'm not a gun advocate at all," Hoeller told the court.
If convicted, Hoeller faces up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.