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Wisconsin salon shooter sought cabbie's advice before killings

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A man who shot and killed his estranged wife and two other women at a Milwaukee-area hair salon last fall told a taxi driver about his marital problems and sought his advice minutes before pulling the trigger, according to documents released on Friday.

Radcliffe Haughton, 45, killed 42-year-old Zina Haughton and two other women, and wounded four others, at the Azana Salon and Spa on October 21. He then turned the gun on himself and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to the documents released by the Brookfield, Wisconsin, police department, Haughton told the taxi driver who picked him up at his home and drove him to the salon in suburban Brookfield that he was having domestic problems and had purchased a gun.

The taxi driver, Jesse Thomas, told police that Haughton asked him what he would do if he found himself in a similar situation. The cabbie told police he advised Haughton to do nothing because it "wasn't worth it."

Thomas said Haughton was shaking visibly as he exited the cab and accidentally tore the $20 bill he gave him as a tip.

The cab driver also told police that he and Haughton stopped at a Burger King, purchased food at the drive-thru and ate it together on the side of the road before heading to the salon.

Haughton had a police record for domestic violence. He was cited for misdemeanor disorderly conduct, described as domestic abuse, stemming from an incident on January 8, 2011. That charge was dismissed on June 15, 2011.

Haughton had also been placed under a restraining order and directed to surrender his firearms in connection with a domestic abuse case involving his wife just days before the killings.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Writing by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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