MENASHA – Menasha Police are recommending charges for a 44-year-old Menasha woman, including recklessly endangering safety with a deadly weapon. She also faces recommended charges of disorderly conduct and failure to comply with an officer's orders.
It all stems from early morning reports of gunshots coming from her home in the 300 block of Lisbon Avenue. Police say the incident was confined to the home, no one was injured and the community is not in danger. But it took hours to resolve and it's still unclear as to why it happened in the first place.
Here's what is known: It all started shortly before 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
"As the original information that we heard from the call - which was heard by officers as well as neighbors - that there were gunshots inside the residence,” said Menasha Police Chief Tim Styka.
Once on scene, Styka says officers had trouble contacting anyone inside the home. Police then locked down the block and called in the Winnebago County SWAT team.
Police say at about 7 a.m., a teenage girl came out of the home. Her younger sister, shortly after. It was then that police say they were able to then talk with a young boy in the home.
The boy and his mother, the woman facing the recommended charges, came out on their own at about 8:40 a.m. She is now in custody. The children's father - the woman's husband - was at work.
Police eventually learned there could be explosive materials in the home. Two neighboring homes were evacuated as a precaution. The Brown-Outagamie County Bomb Squad was called in to check the home. Two inert grenades were found in the house; also, several guns were removed. However, police say no explosives were found and the all clear was given at around noon.
"The main thing is to make sure there is nothing like trip wires or something that is going to injure someone as we go in and execute the search warrant,” said Styka.
Styka says officers have been called to the home in the past, but he refused to say anything about those incidents.
Neighbors say the situation is shocking.
"I came home from work and there was an officer at the end - in my grass," said Shelley Olsen, who lives down the street. "[The police officer] approached my car and said, 'I need you to go in your house, lock your doors and don't go anywhere until further notice.'”
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