Christopher O’Kroley, the man who shot and killed Caroline Nosal outside a grocery store in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2016, died by suicide in prison in 2017. He was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for the murder of Nosal, his former co-worker and friend.
A Fatal Attraction Turned Violent
Christopher O’Kroley and Caroline Nosal met while working at the Metro Market Grocery store on Madison’s far east side. They became friends and exchanged text messages, but Nosal never reciprocated O’Kroley’s romantic and sexual interest. She repeatedly rejected his advances and told him to stop harassing her.
O’Kroley became obsessed and angry with Nosal, and blamed her for getting him fired from the store. She had complained to the management that he was harassing another employee, and he was terminated on February 1, 2016. The next day, he bought a gun and ammunition, and waited for Nosal to finish her shift. As she walked to her car, he shot her twice, once in the chest and once in the head, and fled the scene.
He was arrested the following day after a brief standoff with the police at a motel. He confessed to the killing and said he felt “good” and “happy” about it. He also said he wanted to kill himself, but changed his mind after shooting Nosal. He was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm by a felon.
A Life Sentence and a Suicide
In September 2016, O’Kroley pleaded guilty to the murder charge and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. He apologized to Nosal’s family and said he wished he could take back what he did. He also said he hoped to find peace and forgiveness in prison.
However, less than a year later, he ended his own life in his prison cell. She said she felt “relieved” and “sad” at the same time, and hoped he had found some peace.
O’Kroley’s former girlfriend and the mother of his child, Amanda Joers, said she and her family were concerned about his mental health and had called the prison to alert them. She said she was shocked and saddened by his death, and wished he had gotten the help he needed.
A Tragic Loss and a Legacy of Love
Caroline Nosal, 24, was a beloved daughter, sister, friend, and co-worker. She was described as a kind, cheerful, and compassionate person who loved animals and music. She had a degree in zoology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and dreamed of becoming a veterinarian.
She was also a survivor of domestic violence and had a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, who had abused her physically and emotionally. She had overcome her trauma and was rebuilding her life with the support of her family and friends.
Her family and friends honored her memory by creating a scholarship fund in her name at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, and by raising awareness and funds for domestic violence prevention and victim services. They also advocated for stricter gun laws and background checks to prevent future tragedies.
Caroline Nosal’s life was cut short by a senseless act of violence, but her legacy of love and courage lives on.