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MPD officer shoots, kills armed, suicidal man near 73rd and Mill

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee police say an officer shot an armed, suicidal man near 73rd and Mill Road on Wednesday night, April 24th. The man was identified as 45-year-old James Coleman.

According to police, officers were called to a home near 73rd and Mill Road around 8:15 p.m. by a relative after Coleman had taken several pills and threatened to kill a family member and himself.

When the officers arrived they found Coleman inside of the house, armed with a large kitchen knife.  Coleman had already lacerated his own wrists.

"He was like right here and they were telling him to drop it, drop it, drop it," Coleman's aunt Nancy Sykes said.

The officers repeatedly told Coleman to drop the knife. Instead, police say Coleman advanced toward the officers with the knife in hand, causing one officer to fire his handgun.

"Then all of a sudden we heard four shots in a row and then I started screaming and crying," Sykes said.

Coleman immediately received medical attention from members of the Milwaukee Fire Department, but he died at the scene from his injuries.

His family is now asking why.

"They get money for tasing stuff.  Why couldn't they just tased him and take him down to a Mental Health Complex where he could get help?" uncle Alonzo Macklin said.

Macklin said his nephew was not taking medication and just needed help, so for an officer to shoot, he believes, was not justified.

"James is a good person.  He's a kind-hearted person.  He would do anything he could for anybody, but James has a mental problem," Macklin said.

The officer who shot the suspect is a 29-year-old male with nearly three years of service on the Milwaukee Police Department. He is assigned to District 4. As is standard procedure, the officers involved have been placed on administrative duty pending the completion of the investigation.

Investigators would not release how many times Coleman was shot or where he was shot until an autopsy is completed.

The Milwaukee Police Department and the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office continue to investigate the incident.