On April 11, 2014 at approximately 3:50 a.m. the Crawford County dispatch center received a 911 call from a residence in the village of Gays Mills. The caller, 44-year-old Branston Haggerty stated he needed medical attention for his friend who had shot himself. Ocooch Mountain rescue Squad responded along with Crawford County sheriff deputies. When deputies arrived they found 29-year-old Donald Macleod seated in a chair with what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head. Occupants of the residence were applying pressure to the wound and giving first aid.
Macleod was transported to Vernon Memorial Hospital and later to Gunderson hospital in La Crosse. On Saturday April 12 Macleod died from his wounds.
The investigation revealed that on April 10th and into the early morning ours of the 11th, Macleod and Haggerty had been drinking together for several hours. At some point during the evening they were met by 42-year-old Diane Lynch who was a friend of the pair. During the early morning hours of April 11 the trio ended up at Branston Haggertys residence in Gays Mills. According to Lynch and Haggerty, Macleod picked up a loaded .22caliber revolver that belonged to Haggerty. Macleod was talking about being in the military and said that he didn’t fear death. Lynch and Haggerty said Macleod was talking crazy and told them he wasn’t afraid to play Russian roulette. According to Lynch and Haggerty Macleod took three bullets out of the gun leaving every other cylinder empty. Macleod who was sitting in a chair put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger, the gun went off causing the fatal injury. The sound of the gunshot woke up Branston Haggertys father, Jay Haggerty who was asleep in an upstairs bedroom.
Branston Haggerty and Diane Lynch were taken to the Sheriff’s Department where they were questioned and later released. The Wisconsin State Crime Lab was called to assist with the processing of the scene and the Wisconsin State Patrol reconstruction team was called to diagram the scene. An autopsy will be performed on Monday April 14, 2014.
The case remains under investigation.
Category: Local News