Wife and Mother of Victims Discovered Bodies - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Wife and Mother of Victims Discovered Bodies


LA CROSSE, WISCONSIN (WXOW)-- May's Photo closes at 2 PM on Saturdays, but when Paul Petras and his son A.J. didn't come home, Paul's wife went to the shop.

"She actually went down to the shop and discovered that this crime had been committed," said Captain Robert Lawrence of the La Crosse Police Department. "She left the store immediately and summoned help."

"I was sitting outside and I heard from across the street a lady yell to call 911, and that someone might be dead inside," said Matthew Brown, who called 911. "The lady was definitely very frightened."

Police arrived at the scene around 5:30, just minutes after the 911 call, and discovered 56-year-old Paul and 19-year-old A.J. had been shot and killed inside their family business.

"We know somewhere between when the class let out at approximately 2 PM and the time the victims'' wife and mother had located the bodies, we know that it took place somewhere in that time frame," Lawrence said.

And while police say there's no indication of an immediate threat everyone should be alert.

"People should have heightened awareness of what's going on," Lawrence said. "Not that there's any indication that this could happen again, but there's nothing to indicate that it couldn't, that this person or persons that were involved couldn't, there's nothing to indicate that it could happen again."

Police are working around the clock and following all leads, including reviewing any surveillance footage from downtown businesses.

If you were in downtown Saturday afternoon and saw anything out of the ordinary or you attended the Saturday photo class at May's that day, contact police at 789-7200. You can remain anonymous. Police also are asking any downtown business with a surveillance camera to share that footage even if you are blocks from the crime scene.

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