Wife of DEA Employee Dies After Drive-By Shooting

The suspect was later shot and apprehended by law enforcement.

May 03, 2016, 6:02 PM

— -- The wife of a federal employee has died after a gunman shot her in the neck while she was in her car with her family, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The victim was identified as 44-year-old Tracy Czaczkowski of Buffalo Grove, Illinois. Her husband has been a DEA employee for 11 years.

"Tracy is a loving wife of 15 years, mother of two tender age children, daughter and friend," the DEA said in a statement. "The family is asking for privacy in this difficult time so that they can comfort each other. The family would like to say thank you for the prayers and out pouring of support for Tracy."

Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney called the shooting "a random act." There is no suspected link to husband’s employment with DEA, a DEA spokesman confirmed to ABC News. The gunman, who was later shot by law enforcement, is in police custody.

The incident happened Sunday afternoon on Interstate 90/94 as Czaczkowski, her husband and their two children were driving home to Illinois from the Wisconsin Dells area.

They were passing a Chevrolet Blazer when the Blazer driver rolled down his window and fired three rounds at their car, the Sauk County Sheriff's Office said.

It was the second round that went into the passenger window and hit Czaczkowski's neck. The sheriff's office said Czaczkowski's husband and children were not injured.

Meanwhile, the gunman -- with his two brothers as passengers -- kept driving. The Dane County Sheriff's Office said another car was also struck by gunfire but the driver wasn't injured.

Witnesses called 911 and officers pursued the gunman's car, deploying road spikes to stop it. The suspect then got out of the car and walked toward the officers armed with a revolver, the sheriff's office said. After ignoring commands to stop, the suspect was shot by officers, according to police.

The sheriff's office said the alleged gunman is also the suspect in a murder at an apartment building in West Allis, Wisconsin, that occurred on the morning of the shooting.

The suspect, identified as 20-year-old Zachary Hays of West Allis, remains in a local hospital, officials said. "Multiple counties, including Milwaukee, Columbia, Sauk, and Dane are continuing to investigate collaboratively to determine what charges will be referred to the respective District Attorneys," the Dane County Sheriff's Office said.

One of Hays' brothers, 30-year-old Jeremy Hays, is being held on a tentative charge of felon in possession of a firearm, the sheriff's office said. The identity of the other brother was not released.

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