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Police have person of interest in custody in newlywed couple’s death

Emerson and Gina Weingart were gunned down on Thursday inside a sports bar in Elkhorn, WI. (Credit: FOX 6 Milwaukee)

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A career criminal allegedly killed a newlywed couple during a tense bar robbery after a bartender threatened to call police and tried to knock the gun out of his hands, court documents say.

Thomas Routt Jr. barged into the Sports Page Barr in Elkhorn, Wisconsin shortly after midnight on Feb. 1, and told the bartender – Gina Weingart – to get on the ground, according to the probable cause affidavit obtained by Fox News Digital.

She threatened to call the police and “slapped the gun, and it went off.” the affidavit says. Then Weingart dropped and “went limp,” Routt Jr. allegedly told police. 

Once she went down, Routt Jr. shot her husband, Emerson, and stole $120-$140 from the register, the affidavit alleges. He saw Emerson was still alive, so he allegedly shot him again as he left and chased an unnamed witness.


33-year-old Emerson Weingart and 37-year-old Gina Weingart.

Emerson and Gina Weingart were gunned down inside a sports bar in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. (FOX 6 Milwaukee)

Thomas Routt Jr. mugshot

Thomas Routt Jr. was charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide by use of a dangerous weapon, armed robbery and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. His lawyer said he pleads not guilty. (Elkhorn Police Department)

The 57-year-old career criminal, the newlywed couple and the unnamed witness were the only people in the bar at the time. Gina and Emerson died at the scene, but the witness escaped while Routt Jr. allegedly fired “two or three” shots, according to the affidavit.

“The eyewitness said Routt brandished a handgun and pointed it at Gina, the bartender, and ordered them not to move,” the Elkhorn Police Department said in a statement. “The eyewitness said they instinctively got up off their barstools, and Routt pointed the gun at the eyewitness and ordered the eyewitness not to move.”

“The eyewitness said they sat back down and said Routt subsequently fired the gun at Gina and the eyewitness immediately fled out the door, calling 911 after distancing themself from the scene.”


When detectives asked Routt Jr. why he carried out the violent robbery, he allegedly responded, “More than likely for the money,” according to the affidavit.

Routt Jr.’s lawyer, Russal Jones, told Fox News Digital that he “maintains the presumption of innocence” and will plead not guilty. 

“The criminal complaint is written by the district attorney, and is a summary of their version of facts,” Jones said. “Any evidence that is referenced, including statements, attributed to my client have not been examined for their admissibility or credibility … Judgment should be reserved until evidence is presented, not before.”

Gina and Emerson Weingart smiling after Gina said yes to Emerson's wedding propsoal

Gina flashes her new engagement ring after Emerson proposed in October 2021. They were married last summer.  (Emerson Weingart/Facebook)

Emerson and Gina Weingart in a loving embrace

Emerson and Gina Weingart were “inseparable” from the time they started dating in 2020. They were married in June 2023, and died in a bar shooting a week ago. (Emerson Weingart/Facebook)

Routt Jr. allegedly tried to dump the gun and ammo at a gas station, which detectives found in bags in a dumpster, according to the affidavit. 

He was arrested three days after the deadly robbery – around 3:20 a.m. on Feb. 4 – during a traffic stop on Interstate 43 in the town of LaFayette, Wisconsin, which is less than 10 miles from the crime scene. 


At the time of his arrest, he was being held on an unrelated matter that violated terms of his August 2020 parole. 

Routt Jr. has multiple felony convictions, including burglary and arson, according to court documents. In November 2008, he beat an inmate. 

Emerson and Gina Weingart at Lambeau Field home of the Green Bay Packers

Emerson and Gina Weingart at Lambeau Field, home of their beloved NFL team, the Green Bay Packers.  (Gina Weingart/Facebook)

Young lives taken ‘by act of a coward’

Gina worked at the bar, and the couple were regulars at a place they loved to hang out. It was the same place where they were gunned down. 

A family member posted on Facebook that it was a “senseless bar robbery” that claimed their lives too early. 

“Emerson would go to the bar after work and hang around while Gina would work to support her as she would work late. They were only married for 9 months, married just this past summer,” a cousin, Brittany Weingart, said in a Facebook post. 

Social media posts and comments poured in for the couple, who “became inseparable,” since they first got together in 2020. They got married last June. 

Gina and Emerson Weingart walking down the aisle during the June 2023 wedding.

Gina and Emerson Weingart walking down the aisle during the June 2023 wedding.  (Gina Weingart/.Facebook)

The owner of the bar posted a heartfelt message on Facebook honoring the young couple and called the shooting “the act of a coward” and changed their photo to include Gina and Emerson surrounded by friends and family. 


“I want to talk about the two lives that were tragically taken from us too soon. Our bartender, Gina, and her husband Emerson, both dear friends of ours,” the bar owner posted on Facebook. 

“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.”

Fox News Digital’s Stepheny Price contributed to this story. 

Chris Eberhart is a crime and US news reporter for Fox News Digital. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter @ChrisEberhart48.

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