Search warrant sought phone records in WORT shooting

MADISON (WKOW) — Recently unsealed court records show investigators were seeking phone records that would lead them to a shooter who injured a DJ early in the morning Aug. 5 at WORT radio.

Investigators say the masked, hooded gunman got inside the broadcast studio of WORT-FM just as host Rebecca Barber’s Sunday morning show ended at 3 a.m. 33-year-old DJ Eugene Crisler was shot in the backside, as he and others dove and hid for safety.

After talking with witnesses of the shooting, police filed a search warrant calling on Verizon to release the cell phone records of a former DJ at the station. The documents were unsealed Monday.

WKOW is not identifying the man named in the search warrant at this time, because he has not been charged with a crime and is not Dane County Jail, according to online jail records.

The search warrant states police asked the witnesses whether there were any conflicts that may have led up to the shooting. The volunteer DJs mentioned issues with a former DJ who is also a member of a local religious organization with Crisler. Investigators learned that organization investigated Crisler for an incident, but later closed the case.

Barber told police the tensions extended into their workplace.

On one occasion, Barber recalled she and Crisler played a song on the air which [the former DJ] interpreted as being disrespectful to him. Barber informed [the former DJ] sent someone to the station to complain about the disrespect.

Police also looked into a vehicle driven by the former DJ, according to the court documents. Investigators say that vehicle was seen on traffic camera surveillance near WORT at 3:10 a.m. on Aug. 5.

The witnesses told investigators they were in the studio at a shift change before 3 a.m. when the shooting happened. They said the suspect had a black or dark-colored gun with what appeared to be a silencer on the end of it. He was wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses, a black face mask, black pants, black shoes and black gloves.

One witness described what happened next:

…said the individual began firing the gun and immediately [the victim] dived toward
the floor of the area near the rear studio door that leads to another room. [The victim] said he
heard “pop, pop, pop” as he fell and then began crawling into the back room to seek safety.

Madison police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014.