Vehicle struck by gunfire on US Hwy. 51
Pursuit followed, suspect arrested, only minor injuries reported
The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an incident that occurred late evening on Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, in which a vehicle traveling northbound on US Hwy. 51 near the Village of Maine was struck by gunfire. The suspect is in custody following a pursuit spanning Marathon and Lincoln Counties. As a result of the incident, the vehicle’s occupants were struck by gunfire, and a Lincoln County Deputy suffered minor injuries. This incident was isolated, and there is no ongoing threat to the community.
The Marathon County 911 Dispatch Center received a call at 8:44 p.m. from an individual traveling northbound on US 51 near Cty. Hwy. WW in the Village of Maine. The caller reported that they and their vehicle were struck by gunfire.
Following the initial report, multiple calls were received about the incident, and a suspect vehicle description was obtained. The vehicle that had been struck by gunfire safely pulled over, its occupants received medical attention from first responders in Lincoln County, and they were transported to a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office located the suspected vehicle. The driver failed to comply with deputies’ orders to stop, prompting a pursuit that extended back into Marathon County. Reports suggested the suspect vehicle exited US Hwy. 51 and headed south on Hwy. W, back into Wausau. The Wausau Police Department deployed tire deflation devices to bring the pursuit to an end. However, the suspect vehicle evaded these measures.
The pursuit ended when a Lincoln County Deputy disabled the suspect’s vehicle with their patrol vehicle in the City of Wausau. The Lincoln County Deputy suffered minor injuries from the crash. After the pursuit, the northbound lane of US Hwy. 51, where the initial incident occurred, was temporarily closed for approximately three hours to facilitate the investigation.
As a result of the investigation, 41-year-old Bennie Zachariah Green, from Tony, Wis., was arrested. Charges of Attempted Homicide, 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Operating While Intoxicated (2nd), and a Department of Corrections Warrant are being forwarded to the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office for consideration. Green is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Wausau Police Department, Wausau Fire Department, and Marathon County District Attorney’s Office.
This is an ongoing investigation, and no further details were available as of the time of this writing. According to the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office, any additional information will be posted to their Facebook page when available.