Convicted Felon Reveals Motive For Fatal Shooting Of Newlyweds At Bar

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The convicted felon accused in the shooting deaths of a Wisconsin newlywed couple that took place at the sports bar where the wife worked as a bartender admitted to doing so while attempting to rob them of less than $150.

Thomas Routt Jr., faces two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, armed robbery and felon in possession of a firearm in the February 1 deaths of Gina and Emerson Weingart, the Elkhorn Police Department announced on Friday (February 16) via CBS 58. Routt, a freed parolee who previously served several years in federal prison, opened fire at the Sports Page Bar before swiping between $120 and $140 from a cash register.

A witness told police that Routt was playing a video game machine for about 30 minutes before pulling out a gun and ordering the Weingarts and a third person not to move.

“The eyewitness said Routt brandished a handgun and pointed it at Gina, the bartender, and ordered them not to move,” police said CBS 58. “The eyewitness said they instinctively got up off their barstool and Routt pointed the gun at the eyewitness and ordered the eyewitness not to move" before opening fire, taking the money and following the third victim outside and shooting them as they fled.

Routt was arrested by the Walworth County Sheriff's Office on February 4 while on parole for arson.

“Routt subsequently admitted to shooting both Emerson and Gina Weingart and following the eyewitness out the back door and shooting at the eyewitness as they fled,” police said via CBS 58.

Gina and Emerson Weingart were identified as the victims fatally wounded in the Sports Page Barr shooting by Jordan Barr, the owner of the sports bar, who described the shooter as a "coward."

"Our bartender, Gina, and her husband Emerson, both dear friends of ours, were taken from all of us this morning," Barr wrote on the business' Facebook account. "The Sports Page Barr staff and regulars have always been more than a tight knit group, a family. Before Gina joined our staff, her and Emerson started coming in and very quickly became close with all of us, staff and patrons alike.

"When I eventually offered Gina a part time job, they were already a part of the family. Their lives were just beginning, and I believe I speak for our entire Sports Page family by saying we are absolutely devastated by what happened. It is a despicable act of violence that has shaken all of us to our core."

Emerson's father, Jeff Weingart, told WIS that his son would sit at the bar while Gina worked her part-time shift.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” Jeff said. “Somebody saw them. Somebody saw them. I don’t care, you don’t pull something like that off. I can’t believe that it was just her and him in the bar. So somebody saw them, and somebody had to give a description of them, and somebody had to see the car when he drove away, and they better find him.”

Elhorn is located about 40 miles from Milwaukee and has an estimated population of 10,000.

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