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WI: Gun Range Owner uses Suppressed Automatic Rifle to Defend Self, Business

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- On Friday, 15 November of 2020, Matt Wasmundt was tired after a long day of classes at his indoor range, just off Highway 29, three miles west of Wausau, Wisconsin. The range Zingers and Flingers is close to the geographical center of the state. There had been nearly a hundred students. The classes would continue the following morning. Deer season would start a week later. Many hunters would be coming into the range to zero their rifles.

The establishment has a class three license. They do a brisk business selling suppressors/silencers.

Instead of putting all the guns away, Matt took a break, then came back to the large indoor range/retail establishment to spend the night. He blocked the long, dirt driveway. He locked the doors and started to relax.

Zingers and Flingers as seen from Hwy 29 on Google maps, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten.

A crash alerted him. It was 10:52 p.m. He grabbed a short-barrelled Patriot Ordinance Factory automatic rifle fitted with a suppressor and took cover behind the counter. The intruders had broken the side lite glass next to the outside doors, and were inside the vestibule in two seconds, according to the surveillance video. The glass on the inner wall was laminated. It was tougher. It took them eight seconds to break down the laminated glass with the rock(s) they had brought in from outside.

Matt was ready.

He fired a four-round suppressed burst into the upper left corner of the doors. It had the desired effect. One intruder bolted from the scene. The other dropped to the ground. Matt kept him there, then moved to activate the secondary alarm system to bring the Sheriff’s deputies. The intruder on the floor bolted for the outside and took off.

A third suspect was waiting in a car outside the acreage. The sheriff’s deputies arrested her before she left the scene. Issac D. Tomek was arrested a quarter-mile away. He had run away from the getaway vehicle, rather than toward it.

It took another day to arrest Brock a. Rhode, whose identity was known shortly after the arrest of the first two.  Security video exists of the entire event. From onfocus.news:

Upon investigation, it was learned that Issac D. Tomek and Brock A. Rhode forcefully broke into the business by smashing out windows. The business owner was in his back office and heard the commotion. He armed himself and responded to the entry of the business where he was confronted by the suspects. He fired several rounds from his rifle and the suspects fled.

The Patriot Ordnance Factory rifles are based on the AR15 platform. This one was chambered in .223.

The AR15 platform is an excellent defensive weapon, whether in the home, a business, or as part of a spontaneously organized militia during civil unrest.

A suppressor protects the user from being blinded by muzzle flash or deafened by the muzzle blast from a centerfire rifle cartridge, especially indoors.

The event makes clear how effective a full-auto burst can be to stop aggression.

A local man, who knows Matt,  Jonny Petree, wrote this on the comments section of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page:

I figure those were warning shots. The owner is an excellent marksman.

Matt used his skills in such a way that killing was not necessary.

I have passed by that section of Highway 29 from time to time. I may well stop in and see the facility the next time I am in Wisconsin. It is not easy to keep a large indoor range operating surrounded by many thousands of acres of public and private rural property, such as exists in the middle of Wisconsin.

Matt built the facility over five years ago. He must be doing something right.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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