WORT shooting victim appears to be target

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Police provided an update on Monday that revealed that there is not reason to believe that Sunday morning's shooting at WORT Radio was a random act of violence committed against media. 

Police have information to believe the shooting was targeted. The shooting at the radio station on S. Bedford Street left one person with non-life threatening injuries. 

According to a Madison Police Department incident report:

As the investigation continues, detectives are becoming confident that this incident is not a random act of violence committed against media. Indications are this is a targeted act against specific person(s). We understand and appreciate the interest in this case beyond the local level but do not believe it has any relation to the current national dialogue on media.

WORT Radio Board President David Devereaux-Weber told channel 27 News a masked person entered the station about 3 a.m. Sunday and fired five shots.  The station is located at 118 S. Bedford Street in a residential/commercial area near downtown.

Devereaux-Weber said the shooter didn't say anything at all, so the people who were working at the station couldn't tell what his or her motive may have been.  The station was transitioning from one show to another when the shooting happened. 

Devereaux-Weber confirmed that the person shot was a 33-year-old man who hosts a show. He's reported to be in stable condition. Devereaux-Weber says another DJ present at the time of the shooting was Rebecca Barber, whose midnight-to-three shift as "Boss Lady" had just ended when the intruder opened fire.  Devereaux-Weber says Barber's terrifying experience has not stopped her from expressing concern the shooting not impact WORT's work.  "She really has a deep respect for the mission of the station and the work that we do,"  Devereaux-Weber says.  The station is non-profit and relies on hundreds of volunteers to staff on-air, news, and behind-the-scenes tasks.Both Barber's show and the shooting victim's show that followed feature hip hop tracks.  Devereaux-Weber says the station was off the air for about six hours while police investigated the shooting. Sources tell 27 News a WORT-FM DJ was recently removed from an on-air shift by station leaders over conduct issues, and the host's affiliation with the station was ended.   Police officials decline to comment on whether they have identified a person-of-interest in the shooting.

A police report says the MPD's Violent Crime Unit (VCU) is actively investigating the case and a suspect hasn't been located.  It also relays that the incident wasn't  random, but that's there's no risk to the public. 

Madison Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact them or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266 -6014.  Anyone providing information, that leads to an arrest, can remain anonymous.As the investigation continues, WORT's leadership works to reassure staff measures are being considered to increase safety.

DJ Alex Wilding-White hosts a mid-day jazz program.  Wilding-White says he previously worked an overnight, on-air slot, and is sensitive to the vulnerability of that time period the shooting exposed."My concern is...with the people who do work the overnight shifts, and I think that's where we need to concentrate our concerns and our energies to make sure that they are safe,"  Wilding-White says.Devereaux-Weber says among the security upgrades being considered is locking the station's doors during all hours; changing the number punch-pad system to gain entry to the station; and making sure surveillance cameras record, and not just operate to allow staff to observe who is outside the station.  Authorities and top station staff concede the armed intruder may have had knowledge of the station's door access code.

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