WI: Gun Range Owner uses Suppressed Automatic Rifle to Defend Self, Business

Photo courtesy Matt Wasmundt

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- On Friday, 15 November of 2020, Matt Wasmundt was tired after a long day of classes at his indoor range, just off Highway 29, three miles west of Wausau, Wisconsin. The range Zingers and Flingers is close to the geographical center of the state. There had been nearly a hundred students. The classes would continue the following morning. Deer season would start a week later. Many hunters would be coming into the range to zero their rifles.

The establishment has a class three license. They do a brisk business selling suppressors/silencers.

Instead of putting all the guns away, Matt took a break, then came back to the large indoor range/retail establishment to spend the night. He blocked the long, dirt driveway. He locked the doors and started to relax.

Zingers and Flingers as seen from Hwy 29 on Google maps, cropped and scaled by Dean Weingarten.

A crash alerted him. It was 10:52 p.m. He grabbed a short-barrelled Patriot Ordinance Factory automatic rifle fitted with a suppressor and took cover behind the counter. The intruders had broken the side lite glass next to the outside doors, and were inside the vestibule in two seconds, according to the surveillance video. The glass on the inner wall was laminated. It was tougher. It took them eight seconds to break down the laminated glass with the rock(s) they had brought in from outside.

Matt was ready.

He fired a four-round suppressed burst into the upper left corner of the doors. It had the desired effect. One intruder bolted from the scene. The other dropped to the ground. Matt kept him there, then moved to activate the secondary alarm system to bring the Sheriff’s deputies. The intruder on the floor bolted for the outside and took off.

A third suspect was waiting in a car outside the acreage. The sheriff’s deputies arrested her before she left the scene. Issac D. Tomek was arrested a quarter-mile away. He had run away from the getaway vehicle, rather than toward it.

It took another day to arrest Brock a. Rhode, whose identity was known shortly after the arrest of the first two.  Security video exists of the entire event. From onfocus.news:

Upon investigation, it was learned that Issac D. Tomek and Brock A. Rhode forcefully broke into the business by smashing out windows. The business owner was in his back office and heard the commotion. He armed himself and responded to the entry of the business where he was confronted by the suspects. He fired several rounds from his rifle and the suspects fled.

The Patriot Ordnance Factory rifles are based on the AR15 platform. This one was chambered in .223.

The AR15 platform is an excellent defensive weapon, whether in the home, a business, or as part of a spontaneously organized militia during civil unrest.

A suppressor protects the user from being blinded by muzzle flash or deafened by the muzzle blast from a centerfire rifle cartridge, especially indoors.

The event makes clear how effective a full-auto burst can be to stop aggression.

A local man, who knows Matt,  Jonny Petree, wrote this on the comments section of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page:

I figure those were warning shots. The owner is an excellent marksman.

Matt used his skills in such a way that killing was not necessary.

I have passed by that section of Highway 29 from time to time. I may well stop in and see the facility the next time I am in Wisconsin. It is not easy to keep a large indoor range operating surrounded by many thousands of acres of public and private rural property, such as exists in the middle of Wisconsin.

Matt built the facility over five years ago. He must be doing something right.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Wait a minute! They didn’t follow any of the gun control laws! Think they would have performed a legal transfer through an FFL when they sold off the guns they stole?


I didn’t read where anyone got any guns?

Dave in Fairfax


He forgot to put the \sarc in after the sentence.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave in Fairfax

Duh, my bad.


Righteeoh, there, ol chap. Seems they were on about getting away with something slightly more important and useful than the guns they were wanting to “liberate”. Their own lives, no leaks.
It seems those auto-fire four rounds, one for each, i note, were correctly interpreted by the putative thieves. It assisted then in maiking informed decisions to.. disappear.

Funy the one who thought he’d be a wise guy and go the OPPOSITE direction, away from the getaway chariot. He was till found quickly, though. Nice work, Sheriffs. Well done. Sheriff Clark would be proud of you, too.


You should have said, if you read the column in its entirety: “Wait a minute! They didn’t follow any of the gun control laws! Think they would have performed a legal transfer through an FFL when they sold off the guns they WOULD HAVE stole?”


Idiots! They must have thought no one was there. “Well, surprise, surprise, surprise!”
Nice job defending your business!


The man obviously knows that use of force is a spectrum, and he wisely used the least force needed to stop the felonious action that threatened his safety. As they hadn’t yet come through the unbroken second window yet, he chose to fire warning shots which, though discouraged by many use of force experts, seemed to work perfectly this time and in these very limited circumstances. You don’t shoot burglars to punish them. You don’t shoot burglars to keep them from taking your stuff. You shoot them because there is nothing else to do to stop them from hurting you… Read more »


Ya, something stupid like shooting a gun indoors or in city limits..LOL

Xaun Loc

Or perhaps the correct charge of wanton endangerment for the wild shots that were sent sailing off into the night with no idea where they would impact after passing through the door.

So-called “Warning Shots” are always a bad idea, and almost always illegal (although they are seldom prosecuted.

Perhaps I am misjudging Matt and he actually had reason to be sure that those rounds would impact safely, but from the photos provided it looks like they were just sailing off into the distance – which is a mistake I would not expect from an instructor.


ballistic wise and where the place is located I think he made the right choice and i dont think they were wild shots but well placed


If he had seen any of them ARMED, he would have been totally within his rights to shoot their ass. Seems to me that he didn’t see any weapons so his response makes sense.


ARMED with what. a rock when the Gov has all your guns then what will you be armed with. to me makes no difference you have something in your hand and and using it to break in you are armed and a threat.

Dave in Fairfax


Armed with everything that we presently own.
Perhaps you plan to meekly turn over your equipment, not everybody does.

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
Samuel Adams

Roland T. Gunner

In my jurisdiction, you may use lethsl force to protect your stuff, and if the range has automatic weapons, it would be even more logicsl to do so. Also, the warning shots would likely be criminal.


this one is a good thing to know.

WI Patriot

While I have never been, I am familiar with this shop/store…
Perhaps a purposeful trip is in order…


Yes, I believe so.

Last edited 1 year ago by SEMPAI



Replace criminal syndicate govt with egalitarian TRUEdemocracyNOW dot com. Spread it around.

Mike the Limey

Next time, do the future victims of these scum a service & aim directly at the threat…

Ryben Flynn

4 round burst? That’s a new on on me, I thought 3 round was standard. And it was a fully automatic registered machine gun?


What’s so surprising about a 4 round burst? It’s accomplished by releasing your trigger manually after a short burst. A mechanically actuated 3 round burst is different in that you hold down for the burst. After the 3 rounds are fired you have to release the trigger to reset. See the difference? (being facetiously sarcastic here) lol


Machine guns are something completely different than a full auto AR-15. I suggest you check out Jane’s for a fuller understanding of the dichotomy.