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Investigators looking into murder, attempted suicide near Beloit

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BELOIT, WI (WTAQ) - Investigators in Rock County want to know what led a man to kill his neighbor in a barn near Beloit, and then shot himself.

Sheriff Robert Spoden said today that 75-year-old Danial Bellard shot and killed a neighbor, 59-year-old Christine Gestrich.

It happened after 8 a.m. Wednesday. Sheriff’s deputies arrived at Bellard’s property a short time later.

Spoden said they were forming a tactical perimeter when they heard a gunshot – and they found Bellard in a shed next to his house with a severe self-inflicted gunshot wound.

It took a couple hours to take Bellard into custody after deputies were called. He was taken to UW Hospital in Madison, where he was in critical but stable condition this morning in a room where he’s being guarded.

Spoden said his officers don’t know what happened before the shootings. The sheriff said the two neighbors had previous disputes over property – but there have been no incidents because of it. 

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