Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shooting, 1st and Howard

This sort of thing does not happen on 1st and Howard.

Gunfire is not heard in this neighborhood.

Armed robbery suspects and police don't fire weapons there.

But, it did happen on Saturday AFTERNOON, shortly after 4:00 PM.


Shortly after 4:00, I was in a car going east on Howard, after exiting the freeway. Squad cars were arriving on the scene. Other than the activity of the cars rushing there and the sirens wailing, it looked to be pretty much business as usual. Traffic was moving along. There were more people than normal walking on Howard and standing on the street, but there was no crowd. There didn't seem to be any panic, just more and more police.

Two squads were blocking 1st Street, closing it to traffic. Clearly, something serious was happening.

As we passed, I looked down the little hill of the sloping street. About halfway down the block between Howard and Tripoli, I saw a man lying in the street. Another man was kneeling over him, doing chest compressions.

I freaked out. It was seconds but the sight was awful. I thought maybe the man on the ground had a heart attack. But that wouldn't elicit that sort of police response.

What was going on?

Squads kept coming. Had there been a robbery at the gas station on the corner of Howell and Howard?

I had a sick feeling. Something terrible had happened.

Later, I learned a 28-year-old Germantown man, an armed robbery suspect, was killed by police.

The media are offering dramatically conflicting information on the fatal shooting that occurred near 1st and Howard on Saturday afternoon.

TMJ4 aired a report at 10:00PM that strongly suggested the suspect was unnecessarily gunned down. It included an interview from a male witness whose identity was concealed. An earlier report on TMJ4 stated witnesses said the Citgo station was robbed, and the suspect fired at the police officer prior to the officer firing the shots that killed the suspect.

FOX6 News gave a different account on its 9:00PM newscast, featuring a witness saying he thought the suspect fired first and the officer returned fire.

Here's video, from FOX6 News:

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee cop fatally shoots armed robbery suspect

From WISN: Police shoot, kill man suspected in armed robbery

It's terribly irresponsible and unprofessional for the media to put witnesses on the air, making judgments about what happened, giving the story as they perceive it to be, and report that as news.

I don't want to hear what witnesses have to say. Who cares? I want to hear facts.

The media should report information from officials. They should talk to Mayor Tom Barrett and what he's going to do to address crime.

There's nothing wrong with the media getting reaction from bystanders or people living in the neighborhood, but what they have to say should not be reported as factual accounts. The media should wait and get it right.

I feel so bad for the people in the neighborhood. So much can change so fast. One afternoon and everything changes.

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