Alexander Kraus is a 17-year-old Neenah High School student accused of killing his grandparents in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, and plotting to “cause harm” at his school, authorities say. Kraus was taken into custody on Sunday, April 14, after the double homicide at a home on West Edgewood Drive, the Grand Chute Police Department said in a press release.
Kraus fatally shot his grandfather, Dennis Kraus, 74, and his grandmother, Letha Kraus, 73, police said in a press release. Kraus lives in Neenah, Wisconsin, while his grandparents were residents of Grand Chute. Authorities have not said if they know why Dennis and Letha Kraus were shot by their grandson.
According to Neenah school district officials, Kraus told police that he had been planning to harm fellow students at Neenah High School. Few details about the killings and the threat to the high school have been released so far. Kraus is being held at a local jail and is scheduled to appear in court on April 16. It is not known if he has hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf and his family could not be reached for comment by Heavy.
Grand Chute and Neenah are located in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, near Green Bay.
Here’s what you need to know about Alexander Kraus:
1. Kraus Called 911 & Told Dispatchers He ‘Killed His Grandparents’ & Needed ‘Police to Come & Arrest’ Him
Grand Chute Police said Alexander Kraus admitted to fatally shooting his grandparents at their home Sunday morning. Police responded to the home about 11:40 a.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls from Alexander Kraus. In the calls, Kraus told dispatchers he “killed his grandparents and needs the police to come and arrest him,” according to a recording of police dispatch transmissions obtained by Heavy. Kraus hung up on dispatchers multiple times, according to the recording.
Kraus told police he was still inside the house and then hung up. Officers asked Kraus to come outside with his hands up. He later told police he had gone outside. Kraus also told dispatchers that his dad was on his way to the house.
“The teenager was still at the scene when police arrived and was brought back to the station for questioning, he was cooperative,” Grand Chute police officer Travis Waas told The Daily Beast. “This was a terrible situation but he is being cooperative in this investigation.”
Grand Chute Police said in a statement released in the hours after the shooting, “On Sunday, April 14th, 2019 at around 11:37 hours, officers of the Grand Chute Police Department were dispatched to an address on W. Edgewood Dr. within the Town of Grand Chute for a welfare check. Officers arrived on scene and discovered two victims that were deceased. A third party who was on scene was taken into custody without incident. The public is not believed to be in any danger as this appears to be an isolated incident. At this time we are currently working to confirm the identity of the two victims. This investigation is very fluid and still in its early stages. Any additional information will be released at a later time.”
In a press release issued Sunday, police said, “At this time we can confirm that the victims were both residents of Grand Chute and the victims were known to Mr. Kraus. However, to allow proper notification of family, the identity of the victims will be released at a later time. At this time we are currently working to confirm the identity of the two victims. This investigation is very fluid and still in its early stages. Any additional information will be released at a later time.”
Police later confirmed the victims were Kraus’ grandparents, Dennis and Letha Kraus. According to police, a “long gun” was recovered at the scene. It is not clear how Kraus was able to obtain the gun used in the shooting.
2. Authorities Have Not Released Details About the ‘Harm’ They Say Kraus Planned to Cause Harm at Neenah High School, but He Told Dispatchers He Was Plotting to ‘Shoot Up’ the School
While investigating the homicides, police learned that Kraus planned to “cause harm” at Neenah High School. According to police scanner audio obtained by Heavy, Alex Kraus told dispatchers he had “plans to shoot up the school.” Police have not released further details about what Kraus was plotting.
The school district said they learned of the threat from police. “The student is in custody in Outagamie County and police believe there is no danger to students and staff at Neenah High School. The school day on Monday will proceed as planned. Additional counselors will be available to assist students,” the school district said in an email to parents, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.
According to The Daily Beast, police obtained “substantial” information about Kraus’ plans, including written documentation, but did not provide further details about that evidence.
3. Kraus Is a Junior at Neenah High School
Alex Kraus is a junior at Neenah High School, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette. Police said they had not interacted with Kraus in the past. Kraus lives in Neenah with his parents, Charles Kraus and Shannon Kraus, and has three siblings, a brother and two sisters, according to family social media posts.
According to a May 2017 article in the Post Crescent, Kraus was an honor roll student at Neenah High School during the first semester of the 2016-2017 school year. No other information about Kraus was immediately available.
4. Police Have Not Revealed Whether They Know a Motive for the Shooting
Grand Chute Police said the investigation into the shooting is still ongoing. Police have not said if they have determined a motive for the killings. No other information about the incident has been released. More details are expected to be released when court documents filed by prosecutors are made public later this week.
“I understand there’s a ton of questions coming from the community, relationship from the family, who had called 911. All of that information will be released in the criminal complaint that will answer all of these questions,” Officer Travis Waas told WBAY-TV. “We’re not trying to withhold information. We’re not trying to create barriers, we’re just trying to release information that we can, at a certain period of time, just out of respect for the victim’s families.”
5. Kraus Was Charged With 2 Counts of First-Degree Intentional Homicide & Is Being Held at the Outagamie County Jail
Alexander Kraus was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. Kraus was booked into the Outagamie County Jail on those charges and remains held without bail. Kraus is scheduled to make his first court appearance at 3:30 p.m. on April 16 in the Court Commissioners courtroom in Outagamie County. He faces up to life in prison if convicted. Wisconsin law allows states that a suspect is an adult at the age of 17.
Waas told WBAY-TV that police were still using search warrants to obtain evidence. “Other search warrants were expected to be completed, If they haven’t been completed, then they’d be completed this morning. Basically just searching electronics, laptops cell phones that would belong to the suspect,” the police spokesman said.