Police are investigating the shooting death of a former Winona State University (WSU) professor who was killed last weekend in his rural Pickwick home.
Police were called to the home of Mickey Lynn Ellenbecker, 72, of Pickwick, on Husman Ridge Road, at 12:14 p.m. on March 8. The caller, a 64-year-old friend, told police Ellenbecker had been shot.
When Winona County Sheriff's Deputies arrived at the scene, they found Ellenbecker facedown in his kitchen with an apparent gunshot wound to the back of his head. He was unconscious but breathing, and was airlifted to a La Crosse hospital, where he was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon.
Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand said investigators were questioning the man present in the home to determine how Ellenbecker's 22-caliber revolver was fired. Brand said suicide had been ruled out, and that Ellenbecker had been making lunch for expected company when he was shot. The 64-year-old friend present at the scene is a "person of interest," Brand said, adding he had not determined the nature of the shooting nor whether criminal charges may be issued. There were no signs of a struggle at the scene.
"I remember working with him in the '70s," said Brand of Ellenbecker, who worked in probation at the Winona County Courthouse and also served as a WSU professor. Brand said he was anxious to determine what happened to the well-known retiree, who had an adult son and daughter.