L'homme soupçonné d'avoir abattu trois femmes et d'en avoir blessé quatre autres dimanche matin dans un institut de beauté de Brookfield, dans l'État du Wisconsin, s'est enlevé la vie.

Le présumé tireur, Radcliffe Haughton, 45 ans, a été retrouvé mort dans le salon de beauté en après-midi.

Au départ, les autorités policières croyaient que le suspect avait pris la fuite, ce qui avait donné lieu à une chasse à l'homme d'une durée de six heures, forçant la fermeture d'un centre commercial, d'un club de loisirs et d'un hôpital de la banlieue de Milwaukee, à l'est de Brookfield.

Voyant de la fumée émaner de l'édifice de deux étages, une équipe de spécialistes du désamorçage de bombes pensait également qu'il y avait un dispositif explosif artisanal sur place, ce qui n'était finalement pas le cas.

Les autorités policières ont indiqué qu'il leur faudra du temps avant de déterminer exactement les circonstances entourant le drame, précisant qu'elles continuaient d'interroger témoins et secouristes.

Selon le chef de la police de Brookfield, Dan Tushaus, les enquêteurs cherchaient encore tard en soirée à identifier les victimes. Il a précisé que les survivantes étaient âgées de 22 à 40 ans, mais ne savait pas s'il s'agissait d'employées ou de clientes de l'établissement.

Le maire de la municipalité, Steve Ponto, a pour sa part qualifié la fusillade « d'acte insensé de la part d'une personne ».

Dispute conjugale

Lors d'une conférence de presse tenue en soirée, le chef de la police Dan Tushaus a expliqué qu'il y a deux semaines, Radcliffe Franklin Haughton a été arrêté après avoir crevé les pneus du véhicule de sa femme, une employée de l'institut.

À la suite d'une plainte pour violence conjugale, le suspect faisait également l'objet d'une ordonnance d'interdiction de communiquer avec elle pendant quatre ans.

Haughton avait comparu devant la cour du circuit du comté de Milwaukee jeudi dernier, où on lui a aussi donné l'ordre de remettre toutes ses armes au bureau du shérif. On ignore toutefois qui a demandé l'injonction.

Et on ignorait toujours, dimanche soir, si la femme de Radcliffe Franklin Haughton figurait parmi les victimes.

Le père du suspect, Radcliffe Haughton, a accordé des entrevues à une station de télévision et à l'agence Associated Press peu de temps avant que la police n'annonce la mort de son fils.

Depuis la Floride, il a confié lui avoir parlé il y a quelques jours, mais n'avait aucune idée que quelque chose n'allait pas. Il a supplié son fils de se livrer aux autorités. « C'est très triste », a-t-il indiqué après avoir appris son décès.

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  • Three People Killed During Shooting At Spa Outside Of Milwaukee

    BROOKFIELD, WI - OCTOBER 21: Brookfield Chief of Police Daniel Tushaus (L) speaks to the media near the Azana Salon and Spa where three people were killed and four others wounded after a mass shooting on October 21, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The suspected shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, was found dead inside the spa. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)

  • This photo provided by the Brookfield Police Dept. shows Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, 45, of Brown Deer, Wis. Deputies are searching for Haughton on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, who's suspected of wounding multiple people in a shooting at a spa near a suburban Milwaukee shopping mall. (AP Photo/Brookfield Police Dept.)

  • Three People Killed During Shooting At Spa Outside Of Milwaukee

    BROOKFIELD, WI - OCTOBER 21: Police personnel work near the Azana Salon and Spa where three people were killed and four others wounded after a mass shooting on October 21, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The suspected shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, was found dead inside the spa. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)

  • Three People Killed During Shooting At Spa Outside Of Milwaukee

    BROOKFIELD, WI - OCTOBER 21: Police personnel work near the Azana Salon and Spa where three people were killed and four others wounded after a mass shooting on October 21, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The suspected shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, was found dead inside the spa. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)

  • Three People Killed During Shooting At Spa Outside Of Milwaukee

    BROOKFIELD, WI - OCTOBER 21: Police personnel work near the Azana Salon and Spa where three people were killed and four others wounded after a mass shooting on October 21, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The suspected shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, was found dead inside the spa. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)

  • Three People Killed During Shooting At Spa Outside Of Milwaukee

    BROOKFIELD, WI - OCTOBER 21: Police personnel work outside the Azana Salon and Spa where three people were killed and four others wounded after a mass shooting on October 21, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The suspected shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, was found dead inside the spa. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)

  • Three People Killed During Shooting At Spa Outside Of Milwaukee

    BROOKFIELD, WI - OCTOBER 21: Police personnel work outside the Azana Salon and Spa where three people were killed and four others wounded after a mass shooting on October 21, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The suspected shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, was found dead inside the spa. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)

  • Three People Killed During Shooting At Spa Outside Of Milwaukee

    BROOKFIELD, WI - OCTOBER 21: Police personnel work outside the Azana Salon and Spa where three people were killed and four others wounded after a mass shooting on October 21, 2012 in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The suspected shooter, Radcliffe Haughton, was found dead inside the spa. (Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images)

  • Dan Tushaus

    Brookfield Police Chief Dan Tushaus briefs reporters in an evening news conference in Brookfield, Wis., on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. A man who had been accused of domestic violence and slashing his wife's tires took a gun into the spa where she worked and shot seven women, three fatally, before killing himself, Tushaus said. The shootings set off a confusing, six-hour search Sunday for the gunman that locked down a nearby mall, a country club adjacent to the spa and the hospital where the survivors were taken. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    Brookfield Chief of Police Steven Stelter speaks with reporters in Brookfield, Wis., Sunday , Oct. 21, 2012. The man police suspected of killing three and wounding four by opening fire at a tranquil day spa was found dead following a six-hour manhunt that locked down a shopping center, country club and hospital in suburban Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Police block off access to Brookfield Square parking areas in Brookfield, Wis., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at the spa near the Brookfield Square Mall. Deputies are still looking for the gunman. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    Police stand with guns drawn at the entrance to Brookfield Square Mall across from the scene of a shooting at Azana Salon in Brookfield, Wis. on Sunday , Oct. 21, 2012. Police identified the shooting suspect as Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, 45, of Brown Deer, Wis. Brookfield Police Chief Dan Tushaus said Haughton's car had been found, but he was still at large. Three people have been killed and four others have been wounded. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    Emergency vehicles surround the Azana Salon, the scene of a shooting in Brookfield, Wis. on Sunday , Oct. 21, 2012. Police identified the shooting suspect as Radcliffe Franklin Haughton, 45, of Brown Deer, Wis. Brookfield Police Chief Dan Tushaus said Haughton's car had been found, but he was still at large. Three people have been killed and four others have been wounded. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Tactical team members move past a McDonald's on the way to spa next door where, police say multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire, near the Brookfield Square Mall in Brookfield, Wis., Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Police launched a manhunt for a gunman they believe opened fire at the suburban Milwaukee spa, killing three people and wounding four before fleeing. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears)

  • Dan Tushaus

    Brookfield Police Chief Dan Tushaus briefs reporters in an evening news conference in Brookfield, Wis., on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. A man who had been accused of domestic violence and slashing his wife's tires took a gun into the spa where she worked and shot seven women, three fatally, before killing himself, Tushaus said. The shootings set off a confusing, six-hour search Sunday for the gunman that locked down a nearby mall, a country club adjacent to the spa and the hospital where the survivors were taken. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)

  • Rescue personnel arrive at the Azana Spa as police and swat team members respond to a call of a shooting at the in Brookfield, Wis. Sunday , Oct. 21, 2012. Multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at the spa near the Brookfield Square Mall. Deputies are still looking for the gunman.(AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    Emergency vehicles stage across the street from Azana Salon after a shooting in Brookfield, Wis. Sunday , Oct. 21, 2012. Deputies searched Sunday for a shooter after multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at a spa near a suburban Milwaukee shopping mall(AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    Spectators and media look toward the Azana Spa as police and swat team members respond to a call of a shooting at the Azana Spa in Brookfield, Wis. Sunday , Oct. 21, 2012. Multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at the spa near the Brookfield Square Mall. Deputies are still looking for the gunman. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    Police officers secure the area around Azana Salon after a shooting in Brookfield, Wis. Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Deputies searched Sunday for a shooter after multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at a spa near a suburban Milwaukee shopping mall. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    Swat team members gather outside of Azana Salon after a shooting in Brookfield, Wis., Sunday , Oct. 21, 2012. Deputies searched Sunday for a shooter after multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at a spa near a suburban Milwaukee shopping mall. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    Police and swat team members respond to a call of a shooting at the Azana Spa in Brookfield, Wis. Sunday,Oct. 21, 2012. Multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at the spa near the Brookfield Square Mall. Deputies are still looking for the gunman. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Brookfield Shooting

    A police officer responds to a call of a shooting at the Azana Spa in Brookfield, Wis. Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012. Multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at the spa near the Brookfield Square Mall. Deputies are still looking for the gunman. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)

  • Police and swat team members respond to a call of a shooting at the Azana Spa in Brookfield, Wis. Sunday , Oct. 21, 2012. Multiple people were wounded when someone opened fire at the spa near the Brookfield Square Mall. Deputies are still looking for the gunman. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)