He served his community with honor, and now that community is preparing to lay to rest a firefighter to rest. This after he, a police officer and two others were shot on Wednesday.
Michtell F. Lundgaard was killed during a medical call on Wednesday at Valley Transit in Appleton, Wisconsin.
“Mitch was married and a father of three young kids. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time,” said Appleton Fire Chief Jeremy Hansen.
On Thursday, police and fire vehicles escorted Lundgaard’s body down College Ave and to Brettschneider-Trettin-Nickel Funeral Chapel.
Firefighters from across Milwaukee lined the streets saluting a fallen Appleton firefighter, as his body arrived at the medical examiners office Thursday morning. The firefighter was gunned down while on the job Wednesday. @WBAY pic.twitter.com/1ohj67nMtS
— Steven Radmer (@Steven_R) May 16, 2019
Residents lined area streets to pay their respects.
Lights flashed, but no sirens rang out – the journey was silent.
According to the Appleton Fire Department, the firefighter who was killed had served with the department for 14 years.
Overnight, a procession was held in Milwaukee while they brought his body to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.
During it, first responders lined the street as emergency vehicles escorted the firefighter, whose body draped in an American flag.
“Kathy and I send our deepest sympathies to the family, friends, & colleagues of the firefighter who lost their life last night,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement on Twitter. “We stand with our brave first responders @appletonfire, @cityofappleton, and @AppletonPD_WI as they mourn this loss.”
Kathy and I send our deepest sympathies to the family, friends, & colleagues of the firefighter who lost their life last night. We stand with our brave first responders, @appletonfire, @cityofappleton, and @AppletonPD_WI as they mourn this loss.
— Governor Tony Evers (@GovEvers) May 16, 2019
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul also weighed in.
“My condolences to the family and friends of the brave firefighter who lost his life in Appleton yesterday. May everyone affected by this tragedy find peace”.
My condolences to the family and friends of the brave firefighter who lost his life in Appleton yesterday. May everyone affected by this tragedy find peace. https://t.co/6MNDEEZuC7
— WI AG Josh Kaul (@WisDOJ) May 16, 2019
Meghan Cash is a representative of the Appleton Police Department. She said the police and fire departments received a medical call at 5:30 p.m. at the transit center.
Our hearts are with our colleagues and friends at @appletonfire today.
Our community is tremendously loving and giving and we know you’ll reach out to support our firefighters and @AppletonPD_WI officers during this time of grief and mourning. #Appleton pic.twitter.com/HVClWKSQ2A
— City of Appleton (@cityofappleton) May 16, 2019
According to police, while they were treating the person, “the incident escalated into shots being fired.”
“It was a very quick scene. It was things… we had to get people to the hospital quickly. So we’re just happy we could get them there and get them the medical attention they needed,” Cash said.
A number of witnesses reported gunshots and sun police were running towards the scene.
Police haven’t released what lead up to the shooting. But because it involved Appleton emergency responders, the Green Bay Police Department has taken over the investigation.
Local media outlets reported that an officer and two others were also shot. Two victims were taken to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center – Neenah and the third was taken to ThedaCare Regional Medical Center – Appleton. Police haven’t released their identities or their conditions.
A number of departments responded to the scene including Appleton, Kaukauna and Fox Valley Metro police departments, Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin State Patrol.
Cash said even harder was the fact that this happened during National Police Week, when the nation recognizes the sacrifices of officers.
Just a few hours before, police were showing kids their police cars at Houdini Plaza and taking part in a brat fry.
“It’s going to be a hard day for us, especially during Police Week, to have something like this happen,” she said.
Valley Transit is temporarily transferring passengers at Franklin and Superior.
The Appleton Public Library is closed with no word on when it will reopen.
“Our hearts go out to all involved in this tragedy,” library staff says.