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Wisconsin shooting rampage survivor 'played dead'

  • Story Highlights
  • Charlie Neitzel, 21, begged Tyler Peterson to stop shooting, AG said
  • AG: After Peterson fired second time, Neitzel dropped to floor and didn't move
  • Peterson was shot three times in the head; once in bicep, AG said
  • Peterson opened fire on a party of young people Sunday, killing six
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(CNN) -- The sole survivor of Sunday's shooting rampage in Wisconsin "played dead" after a sheriff's deputy shot him three times, Wisconsin's attorney general said Tuesday.

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Tyler Peterson, a sheriff's deputy, shot and killed six people, police said.

After Tyler Peterson shot him once, Charlie Neitzel, 21, begged him to stop. But Peterson fired again. Neitzel fell to the floor, was shot a third time, and didn't move.

"Playing dead until Peterson left, Neitzel survived," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.

Neitzel underwent surgery Tuesday and was in stable condition Tuesday night, a hospital employee told CNN.

The families of the six slain young people -- all current or former graduates of Crandon High School in Crandon, Wisconsin, asked that media leave them alone in their grief, Van Hollen told reporters.

But the families of the victims also wanted it known that they had met with Peterson's family.

"They hold no animosity toward them," Van Hollen said, conveying the families' wishes that the Peterson family be allowed space and time to heal.

On Sunday around 2 a.m. (3 a.m. ET) Peterson, a full-time Forest County Sheriff's deputy, went to a party at a home in the small town of Crandon apparently to make amends with an ex-girlfriend, a friend of Peterson's told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Peterson argued with Jordanne Murray, accusing her of dating someone else, said Van Hollen.

Peterson lost control after people called him a "worthless pig," Peterson's friend Mike Kegley told the paper.

Peterson left the party and got a police-style AR-15 rifle from his truck, forced his way back into the apartment and fired about 30 rounds at about 2:45 a.m. (3:45 a.m. ET).

Six people were killed. According to The Associated Press, investigators found three bodies on or next to a couch -- Lindsey Stahl, 14; Aaron Smith, 20; and Bradley Schultz, 20.

Murray, 18, was found in the kitchen. Lianna Thomas, 18, was found in a closet, and Katrina McCorkle, 18, was just outside it. Both had apparently been trying to hide, Van Hollen said, according to AP.

Neitzel was the last person shot, Van Hollen said.

Less than 20 minutes later, a patrolling Crandon police officer, reported hearing gunfire and approached the apartment building to investigate, Van Hollen said. The officer, Greg Carter, 21, said he saw Peterson exit the building with a rifle, and momentarily lost sight of him. Then, Carter "heard multiple rounds of gunfire" and Carter's windshield burst, Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen said Peterson drove "aimlessly" through three Wisconsin counties and made false calls to authorities to "throw police off his tail."

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He eventually stopped in Argonne, Wisconsin, where he spoke to friends and confessed, Van Hollen said.

Peterson was killed in a shootout with law officers Sunday after negotiations for his surrender failed. The details of the negotiations are not being released at this time pending an ongoing investigation, Van Hollen said Tuesday. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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