Neenah Police Won’t Face Charges In Motorcycle Shop Shooting

Officers Killed Innocent Escaped Hostage In December Incident

Patty Murray/WPR

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel says two Neenah police officers won’t face charges after fatally shooting a man outside of a motorcycle shop last December.

The officers felt they were being lured into an ambush, Schimel said Friday, making it unlikely prosecutors would be able to overcome a self-defense argument in court.

The shooting victim, Michael Funk, was an innocent bystander allegedly taken hostage by Brian Flatoff, who came to Eagle Nation Cycles to confront a man about a motorcycle. Funk escaped the shop after reportedly being shot by the accused hostage-taker, then he was shot 8 times by Neenah Officers Craig Hoffer and Robert Ross.

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“There is no question that officers Ross and Hoffer intentionally shot and killed Michael Funk on December 5,” Schimel said. “The evidence established that they did not recognize the person they shot and that they believed the person they shot was the armed hostage-taker.”

Funk’s wife has filed a $3.5 million civil lawsuit against the city of Neenah.

Funk worked at Eagle Nation Cycles for 20 years. Family friend Kay Reetz, of Neenah said she finds the attorney general’s findings, “absurd.”

“I’m so disappointed. I totally think this is just awful,” Reetz said. “I think it’s horribly awful.”

Reetz describes Funk as a “family guy” and a “good worker.”

“They fed children (at the shop) on Saturday mornings and, by the grace of God, those kids hadn’t shown up yet,” she said. “I’ve been in that shop where every noon you’d walk in and they were cooking meals for people walking in off the street.”

Flatoff has been charged with murder and other charges in the incident.

Schimel said Funk did have a gun on him when he left the shop, but that it was never fired.