CREATED Dec. 8, 2011 - UPDATED: Dec. 9, 2011
Attached are pictures from Greendale Police from the accidental shooting involving a Milwaukee police sergeant at Southridge Mall. You can see the pictures under related documents.
MILWAUKEE- A Milwaukee police sergeant is charged with a crime after his gun went off inside a crowded mall.
Prosecutors say Sergeant Michael Edwards put the public at risk when he had his gun in his waistband, not in a holster with the safety off. It went off inside Southridge Mall and a woman was injured.
The criminal complaint details what happened at Southridge Mall on November 2nd. Edwards was off duty, at a pretzel stand. He reportedly reached for his wallet, and the gun he had tucked in his waistband slid down his pants, and fired. A woman standing in the store got hit by something, leaving a welt on her leg. The whole thing had shoppers on edge at the time.
Shopper Vicki Szerbat told TODAY'S TMJ4, "Well, it makes me feel scared. I do shop there and I have younger children so it's got to be a concern for anyone really."
TODAY'S TMJ4 wanted to give Edwards a chance to comment about the misdemeanor charge he faces. It turns out, the address listed for him on the criminal complaint is actually the District 3 neighborhood task force building. TODAY'S TMJ4 tracked down a house address.
Nobody answered the door, but someone did pull the blinds down after TODAY'S TMJ4 walked away.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn defended Edwards at the time.
Flynn stated, "He has certainly been nothing but forthcoming and absolutely forthright in what happened. All indications are this was a complete accident."
Flynn's still behind the veteran cop now.
He released a statement saying, "I am disappointed the district attorney has decided to use the overburdened criminal justice system to address a situation that is best and most appropriately handled as a training and disciplinary matter."
however, Nik Clark with the group Wisconsin Carry Incorporated says officers shouldn't be given special treatment.
"We're pleased to see in this case the charging decision reflects what would happen if a law-abiding citizen had done the same thing," said Clark on Newsradio 620 WTMJ.
Sergeant Edwards has been transferred to an administrative position, though he still has all of his full police powers. TODAY'S TMJ4 is told he has no disciplinary history in the 25 years he's been with the department.
He faces a $10,000 fine and up to 9 months behind bars.