MILWAUKEE — The investigation continues into what happened when U.S. Marshals fired at a wanted fugitive on Milwaukee’s south side Wednesday afternoon, May 16th. It happened near 25th and Lincoln. Now, the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office says it is conducting its own investigation into what charges the suspect could face, and whether law enforcement was justified in shooting him.
There are several sides to the story of what happened to Mario Lopez Wednesday afternoon – depending upon who you ask.
A chase by U.S. Marshals ended near Forest Home and Lincoln Wednesday, as Marshals say Lopez got out of his car with a gun, and ran. Marshals shot Lopez several times, critically injuring him.
Robert Miranda with Esperanza Unida was trying to help Lopez learn a trade in their welding program. Miranda says Lopez quit the program, wanting to find a job to support his two-year-old, and baby on the way.
FOX6 News profiled Lopez back in October, as he was trying to get a job through the “Project Return Program” – a program that helps felons find employment.
Lopez’s biological grandfather, Tomas Lopez says he adopted Lopez when Lopez was a toddler. His grandfather says the family cannot visit Lopez in the hospital because he is under police guard. The family is concerned about Lopez’s health and his circumstances.
“One thing is for sure – they fired five shots, and he didn’t fire anything. I don’t know who pulled what first, but all I know is they fired the five shots,” Miranda said.
Officials paint a very different picture. A source close to the investigation says Lopez had a history of weapons violations and gang activity. He was a fugitive because he was not following the rules of his parole.
Officials say they want to know why Lopez would flee police with a pregnant woman, a child and a gun inside his car.
“From what I understand, he opened the car and put the gun down, and they started shooting at him, and he started running,” one official said.
FOX6 News is told Lopez is recovering from his injuries.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office says it is busy reviewing reports, and will not have any answers for the public this week.