Suspect shot in gunfight with Milwaukee Police

Jay Sorgi

Suspect shot in gunfight with Milwaukee Police

CREATED Jun. 2, 2011

MILWAUKEE - "We hear 'Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!' " said a woman who lives yards from the scene of a chase and gunfight involving Milwaukee Police.

A spokeswoman said the chase involving an officer on bicycle patrol led to the suspect being shot.

"We ended up hitting the floor, gathering all the kids up, laying on the floor, scared," said Heaven Williams in an interview with TODAY'S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady.

"We didn't know what was going on.  We just waited until the police came.  They did what they had to do."

The suspect should survive.  Officers brought him and a second suspect into custody.

The chase and shootout began at about 10:50 p.m. Wednesday night near the corner of North 39th and West Clarke Streets, by 38th Street School.

A Milwaukee Police spokeswoman says that the officers saw two men wearing dark hooded sweatshirts who, according to the spokeswoman, were acting suspiciously.

When the officers came up to them, one of them ran away.

Police say that one of the suspects, 21, moved his hand toward his waistband.

At that point, the officer believed that the suspect was trying to grab a weapon, and according to the spokeswoman, he tasered and struck the suspect.

The tasering apparently didn't affect, and he kept running away from officers.

While running, he reportedly went back to his waistband, grabbed a gun and fired at the officer, who then returned fire.

"I heard multiple shots.  I thought it was fireworks at first.  It was going off so many times," said Tremerell Robinson, a woman and homeowner who also lives in the neighborhood, in an interview with McCrady.

"I asked my husband, 'Is this fireworks?'  He said, 'No.'  Then I heard single shots and I said, 'That's gunshots.' "

"It was real scary," described Williams. 

"My baby was sleeping.  We woke him out of his sleep to guns.  I heard more than eight (gunshots)."

The officer went after the suspect on foot while the suspect was shooting at him. 

That officer, 39, found the suspect under a porch. 

Police say the suspect kept shooting at the officer, who kept returning fire.

The spokeswoman said the suspect had collapsed after being shot multiple times. 

Police found and took him into custody near 40th and Clarke.  He was taken to a local hospital.

The other officer on bike patrol arrested the second suspect, who is 18.

The officer involved in the gun battle was not injured.

Robinson credited Milwaukee Police for its efforts in quickly coming to the shooting scene to assist and help secure the neighborhood after shots rang out.

"I feel safe seeing the presence that when this happens, the police were actually present.  I was so glad to see when I looked out that window that there was actually police presence.  I felt better with that."

According to police, both suspects have an arrest history for drugs, and the suspect involved in the shootout was on probation for obstruction while also having an arrest history for fleeing an officer.

The spokeswoman says that the officer involved in the shootout has been placed on administrative duty, following what the police spokeswoman described as standard operating procedure.  He has 11 years of experience on the Milwaukee Police force.

The shooting comes after another gun battle involving a Milwaukee Police officer who was not hurt.

Shooting prompts different responses from neighbors regarding area's safety

The two women McCrady talked to described their differing reactions to the shooting, including their willingness to live there after this incident.

"I'm ready to go," explained Williams. 

"This neighborhood is not for me.  There's just too much going on.  I refuse to live around this type of area, nuisance going on.  I have a little baby, four years old.  I do not want to be around it."

When it comes to suspects being willing to shot at police, Williams put it in this context.

"If they do it to them, they'll do it to anybody else."

Robinson agreed with that same context.

"I think it's awful to shoot at anyone, but if they have disrespect for the police, then we count for nothing."

But when it came to the desire to remain, Robinson believes in keeping her investment, both in her own home and in the effort to bring safety there.

"The neighborhood is pretty decent," claimed Robinson. 

"It has changed in many years, but I still feel safe because the neighbors know each other.  We see each other.  We speak to each other.  I pretty much am a block club captain.  We have meeting occasionally."

Robinson explained that many people on her block have lived there for decades.

"I'm a homeowner.  The majority of people on this block are homeowners.  I've been here almost 30 years.  I have watched the neighborhood change, but a lot of people who live on this block have been here just as long or longer than I have."

She expressed gratitude for Milwaukee Police's presence in her neighborhood as part of her commitment to remaining there.

"I really hope that we continue to see the police presence, because I'm not moving.  This is my home.  I want to feel safe here.  I have pride in my home.  I have pride in my neighborhood, the Sherman Park neighborhood.  The people of Sherman Park have pride in their neighborhood," exclaimed Robinson.

"I'm not going anywhere."

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