Christopher O'Kroley to stand trial in death of Metro Market co-worker: Her parents speak out

MADISON — A Madison man accused of fatally shooting a former grocery store co-worker has been ordered to stand trial. And Caroline Nosal's parents spoke about their late daughter with NBC 15 in Madison.

Christopher O'Kroley (PHOTO: WMTV)

Twenty-six-year-old Christopher O'Kroley waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday, February 9th in Dane County Circuit Court.

O'Kroley is facing one count of first degree intentional homicide and one count of first degree recklessly endangering safety in this case.

The fatal shooting happened on Tuesday night, February 2nd -- Christopher O'Kroley's birthday.

According to the criminal complaint, Caroline Nosal was found suffering from gunshot wounds in the parking lot of the Metro Market store around 8:00 p.m. She was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

An autopsy was performed, and it was determined Nosal had died as a result of two gunshot wounds -- one to the head, and one to the abdominal area.


Police later spoke with a citizen witness, who indicated she had received a text message from Christopher O'Kroley on February 2nd that read: "I killed Caroline and I'm about to kill myself. So don't be surprised when I don't respond anymore. I really hope your life is good."

This citizen witness told police that Nosal and O'Kroley had been in "somewhat of a relationship" but O'Kroley wanted more. The witness said O'Kroley was upset because Nosal was "leaving him."

According to the complaint, on February 1st, O'Kroley told this citizen witness he had been fired from Metro Market because Nosal had filed a harassment report against him.

The complaint says following O'Kroley's firing from Metro Market on February 1st, he had been communicating with his former co-workers regarding Nosal's work schedule -- asking his former co-workers whether it was "safe" to come back to the store to retrieve some of his belongings, or whether Nosal was working. Through these text message conversations, O'Kroley was able to learn Nosal would be leaving work at 8:00 p.m. on February 2nd.

The shooting occurred just minutes after 8:00 p.m.

O'Kroley is accused of ambushing Nosal as she walked to her vehicle minutes after her shift ended. O'Kroley told investigators he waited by her vehicle with a gun in his hand, and when he saw her turn the corner, he stood up, "pointed it at her, and shot her twice in the chest." When she fell to the ground, O'Kroley said he "shot her once more in the head."

O'Kroley described the killing as "easy," and said he did it because Nosal had "ruined my life."

Caroline Nosal

According to the complaint, after his firing from Metro Market on February 1st, O'Kroley told investigators he "already had a plan" that he was going to kill Caroline and then kill himself. O'Kroley described himself as a "sociopath" and said he began his planning when he got suspended from work for harassing Nosal two weeks prior to his firing.

O'Kroley told investigators after he was fired, he went out and purchased "a gun, a MP 99 mm shield and 25 rounds."

O'Kroley said he decided to kill Nosal in the Metro Market parking lot -- but he said "he considered shooting her in the store."

O'Kroley said he texted co-workers in an effort to figure out Nosal's scheduled.

According to the complaint, O'Kroley went to the Metro Market store on February 1st and waited for Nosal -- but he realized he had never actually fired the gun -- so he left the parking lot to go practice.

When he returned on February 1st, Nosal had already left.

It was then apparently determined by O'Kroley that the shooting would happen the next day, on February 2nd.

One day after this shooting, on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 3rd, O'Kroley was taken into custody near the East Towne Mall in Madison. This, after allegedly firing shots at a Madison police officer.

According to the complaint, the Madison police officer came upon O'Kroley -- and he refused commands to show his hands. The shots fired incident was captured by the officer's dash camera.

He was eventually arrested and the officer wasn't hurt.

According to the complaint, O'Kroley told investigators that after the shooting of Nosal, when he couldn't kill himself, he intended on "hijacking someone's car at gunpoint."

O'Kroley said the officer who came upon him near the East Town Mall "surprised him," and he admitted to firing his gun at her twice, telling investigators: "I'm glad I didn't hit her. I don't know what else. I guess I'm sorry but...I don't know if I am sorry. I'm just glad I didn't hit her."

Bail has been set at $1 million in this case.

O'Kroley will enter pleas to the charges against him when an arraignment is scheduled.

NBC15's John Stofflet sat down with the family of Caroline Nosal on Wednesday, February 10th.

Below is a transcript of the interview:

John: First off I want to thank you all for being here it's been just a little over a week living through something none of us can imagine living through. For you to take the time to talk to us we do appreciate it, and we're sorry it's under these circumstances. Jane, I think you were telling me going back to a week ago Tuesday night that you found out about a shooting while watching the news.

Jane: Yeah. They came out with 'Shooting at the Metro.' I knew that's where she worked so immediately we looked at each other, tried calling her... nothing. Then I called the store which closes at 10. It was about 9:15, and nobody would tell me anything. I don't know who I got passed to finally that told me that one person was killed and Caroline's at the hospital. So I said what hospital? They wouldn't tell us. We knew right then that she was gone.

John: I want you to tell me about Carolilne in just a minute, but first the relationship. What was the relationship with Christopher O'Kroley at the market. You talked a little bit about it earlier. What can you tell me about that?

John: What are your emotions toward Christopher O'Kroley right now, Jim?

Jim: Actually I'm not... I was thinking I'd be much much more angry. I'm not. I don't know why he took my daughter, and right now I guess I just feel her loss. That may change as time goes on, but I guess we've been asked if we wanted to come to these procedures that have been going on and it's like I don't see any point. None of it will bring my daughter back. I think what's been helping us is just the huge outpouring of community support. I'm so blessed to realize just how many lives my daughter touched.

Jane: You have no idea.

Jim: No idea. That's a rare gift and the fact that she's gone... yeah.

Jane: We haven't internalized that yet.

John: I know.

Jane: I feel like my heart right now is so full of love for Caroline, sorrow for Caroline and sorrow for us. I don't have any room for anything else in my heart right now. I refuse to let this and this person turn my heart to stone. I'm not going to let him occupy my brain all of the time either. He took enough out of my life. No more.

John: Let's talk about Caroline. Pictures are going by behind you and I was looking at the pictures. It's clear she was a remarkable, beautiful young lady, and you're all very close family. I'd like you to each tell me what made her so special. Jane?

Jane: I think she was a stinker, because she was due on April 15th. She decided to wait until May 1st, which is my birthday, to show up. She was 9 lbs. 11 ounces. She was my mayday baby, and it was the best birthday present I ever got. A couple funny things I had told you... She was about six or so, it's summertime and the kids are in the house with me. All of the sudden I can't find Caroline. I looked all over the house, and then I went outside. I was standing on our driveway by our big maple tree and I said, "Caroline where are you?" The maple tree says "I'm just here reading."

John: She was up in the tree.

Jane: With a book.

John: She liked to read.

Jane: Both my girls.

John: Amy, you've lost a sister. Tell me what Caroline means to you.

Amy: I'm still processing that, but I appreciated the way she made my family smile. I'm furthest away. These guys are all in town, but we talked a lot over the Internet via funny pictures, videos and songs that we could share singing back and forth.

Jane: Every time you could visit.

Amy: I'm gonna miss that source of joy that she brought to all of us and all the many people that we're just now meeting.

John: Jim, tell me what you most want people to know about Caroline.

Jim: As a parent we all would like our children to be our best selves. As Caroline was going through schools and things like that you tell your kids that they should not judge people, and their success is based on their hard work. Caroline would always pick the best times to remind me of that. All I can say is that somehow she picked up what's best in me.

Jane: She wasn't a kid that would go along with the group. Sometimes that makes you unpopular because you're speaking a different truth than everybody else is, and she stuck to her guns.

John: I was looking at some pictures. There's so many that touched me. This obviously up-close nuclear family here I think of the museum. It was a really cute picture. Then the two of you on horseback out West.

Jane: I've always loved horses and rode when I was a kid. So did Caroline the whole time she was growing up. I needed to go to San Francisco, and we went a day or two early. I took her with me. We all rented horses, and we galloped on the beach at Half Moon Bay near San Francisco. It was just like we were in heaven. It was something that we both loved to do and a dream that we always wanted to go gallop on the beach.

John: When you look at a picture like that today what does it mean to you? What emotions?

Jane: We feel that God lent her to us for 24 years.

John: This is a tough question, but what is the toughest thing about all of this because I know parents out there can't imagine the toughest aspect of it.

Jim: I won't be able to hug her.

Jane: And hear her voice. Feeling her hugs.

Jim: We are... group hugs... things like that and the last time I saw her we always did.. you know. A big hug.

Jane: Last time was a party.

Jim: I guess I have to put in our bit. We also gave our kids all of our quirks. So we would always leave with "Live long and prosper."

John: Star Trek.

Jane: She had a funny sense of humor. a bit on the sarcastic side which is like a usual Irish woman. She could tell you where to go and have you look forward to the trip.

John: That's a good one. Is there anything else you want to add about Caroline or about the circumstances of her death?

Jim: For Caroline. Everything we told you... those are the things we cherish. The other things will come later.

Jane: I do want to say something because I know that there's another family that's embroiled in this mess. I'm sorry if they're hurting just as much as we are. I wouldn't want to wish that on anybody. I don't know his family. I don't know anything about them, but as a mom I want to tell his mom I'm so sorry. You never raise a kid thinking that they're going to be doing that.