Vernon County Sheriff John B. Spears reports a shooting occurred Friday, May 20, 2016, at approximately 10:30 PM, in the village of Viola, in Vernon County. The Sheriff’s Office received several 9-1-1 calls of gunshots being heard in the 200 block of West Commercial Street.
When officers arrived, they determined an altercation had occurred, on private property, owned by Michael D. McNelly, age 56, of Viola, WI. The incident involved McNelly and Jonathan L. Franks, age 32, of La Crosse, WI. Franks was struck twice in the lower abdominal area and was transported to Vernon Memorial Healthcare, in Viroqua, by the Kickapoo Rescue Squad.
McNelly was injured prior to the gunfire and he was also transported to Vernon Memorial Healthcare by La Farge Ambulance. Both Franks and McNelly were later transferred to Gundersen Health System, in LaCrosse, by Tri-State Ambulance. Both Franks and McNelly are expected to recover.
Assisting the Sheriff’s Office were the La Farge Police Department, Viola Police Department, Viroqua Police Department, and the Richland County Sheriff’s Office. The incident remains under investigation by the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office and more details will be released as the investigation progresses.