Brown County Murder-Suicide Marks 4th In Wisconsin So Far This Year

Tally Of Gun Homicides For Year Reaches 84


A fatal shooting in Brown County last Saturday night was the fourth this year that involved both a murder and a suicide.

Police say a 911 call alerted them to the incident, in which 58-year-old Richard Phillips shot his wife, 55-year-old Linda Budzban outside their home in the rural township of Eaton. The two were in the middle of a bitter divorce.

The 911 call came from someone attending wedding reception at a nearby supper club. He told the operator he ran outside when he heard a woman screaming for help. When police arrived on the scene both Phillips and Budzban were dead.

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Police say Budzban had complained that her husband had been harassing her recently, but there had been no reported incidents of physical abuse before the murder.

Karen Faulkner, the director of a Green Bay Domestic Abuse shelter called Golden House, said there are community resources available that can help prevent tragedies like this, and that friends and neighbors of can play a role.

“That doesn’t mean that they can make it stop or that they can be the person to take action necessarily, but at least by letting that individual, that victim know that you’re available to them, that you’re there to help if they need it, that you’re there to listen, helps them to understand that there is hope,” said Faulkner.

Next week, the Wisconsin Anti Violence Effort will carry out a statewide Hearts and Soles campaign in five cities, in which a display of 467 pairs of empty shoes will symbolize the number of gun deaths in the state each year.

There have been 85 gun homicides in the state this year so far.

Correction: The original version of this story said that there had been a total of 84 gun homicides in the state for the year. At the time of the article’s publication, however, the total was actually 85.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a Wisconsin Public Radio year-long series tracking all gun-related homicides in Wisconsin.