Wisconsin’s legal community is mourning an attorney who was killed in a string of shootings last week in northern Wisconsin.
Sara Quirt Sann, 43, was killed March 22 along with three others, including a police officer, in shootings near Wausau that stemmed from a domestic dispute, according to the state Department of Justice.
Investigators said Quirt Sann was representing the shooter’s wife in a divorce. Nengmy Vang, 45, started divorce proceedings against his wife, Naly Vang, in 2015. The couple had been scheduled for a final pretrial conference next month.
Nengmy Vang went to a Rothschild bank around midday on March 22, where he shot and killed two workers, then traveled to nearby Schofield, where he killed the solo practitioner at her office, according to investigators. Nengmy Vang then fled to his apartment in Weston, where he barricaded himself inside and where he later shot and killed an Everest Metro Police Department detective.
Police eventually shot and wounded Vang and took him into custody.
Quirt Sann also served as a guardian ad litem in divorce and child support cases. According to news reports, a bouquet of flowers was left on the sidewalk outside the law firm where she had worked.
Quirt Sann graduated from the Valparaiso University School of Law in 1999 and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a journalism degree in 1996. She has been admitted to practice in Wisconsin since 1999, according to the State Bar website. She had also worked as a manager for Wausau-based Quirt Family Dentistry.
Quirt Sann’s husband, Scott Sann, posted comments on Facebook saying she fought for people who needed representation and often felt unappreciated.
“She wore her armor and fought hard many days thanklessly,” he wrote. “Sara and I did a lot of fun things together. We lived life fully. We could’ve lived more. I am thankful for the time I had. Continue to keep us in your prayers.”
Robyn De Vos, president of Marathon County Bar Association, said the Marathon County legal community has been shaken by Quirt Sann’s death.
“Sara was a smart, compassionate attorney who exuded a quiet confidence and, as a guardian ad litem, strove to understand the real struggles families face,” said De Vos. “She was a kind, beautiful person. We will never be the same.”
Wisconsin State Bar President Fran Deisinger extended his condolences to the Marathon County legal community and others who were affected.
“Attorneys often intersect with and assist clients during the most difficult moments of their lives,” he said. “It’s truly heartbreaking when these complicated and challenging situations escalate to violence. Despite this tragedy, Wisconsin lawyers will remain dedicated to the important work of serving their clients and the community at large.”
The Associated Press also contributed to this report.