Wanted felon shot, wounded inside Children’s Hospital

Ashanti Hendricks

Ashanti Hendricks

WAUWATOSA (WITI) — A 22-year-old man with a gun was shot and wounded near the neonatal progressive care unit of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa around noon on Thursday, November 14th. The suspect is identified as Ashanti Dickerson-Hendricks.

At 11:59 a.m., Milwaukee Police received a call from a woman stating there was a suspect, likely armed, at Children’s Hospital.  The caller also reported that the armed suspect likely had felony warrants. As a result of this call, officials say officers from District 3 were dispatched to the hospital. The responding officers confirmed the armed suspect’s felony warrant status while en route, and printed his picture from their in-squad computer.

Upon arrival at the hospital, officials say the officers responded to the suspect’s room in the neonatal unit and found the suspect holding a baby. The officers engaged the suspect in dialogue in an attempt to determine whether he was in fact armed.

Investigators say shortly after the initial contact by police was made, the suspect released the baby and attempted to flee. After a brief physical struggle with officers, the suspect produced a .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol from his pants, broke away from the officers and ran through the neonatal ward.  Milwaukee Police officers pursued the armed suspect, who pointed his pistol at officers as they contained him in an empty hallway.

Officials say the suspect’s threatening behavior forced officers to take action to protect themselves and innocent bystanders. One officer fired two rounds at the suspect, striking him in the arm and causing him to drop his gun. He was immediately treated for his non-life-threatening injuries.

The “all clear” at the hospital was issued shortly after 2 p.m.

The mother and baby in this incident are fine. No hospital personnel were hurt in this incident — and all babies in the neonatal unit are continuing to be cared for.

FOX6 News has learned this is not the first time Dickerson-Hendricks has been accused of fleeing or being a felon in possession of a firearm.

In December of 2012, investigators say he drove off from a traffic stop, crashing his vehicle in the area of 60th and Congress. He was then accused of running away even after he was tased, breaking into a home and trying to hid in a garage. Police say they later found a gun in his car.

When Thursday’s incident happened, Ashley Paczocha followed staff protocol she keeps written on a lanyard — and took patients out to safety.

“We took patients, whoever we could find, and we went down the stairwell and got as far away as we could from the buildings,” said Paczocha. “When you hear something like that happen, your first reaction is to get out and to get everyone else as safe as you can.”

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

Chief Flynn said the officer who fired his service revolver is a 27-year-old male with nine years of experience; six years on the street. He is assigned to District 3 and again, was not hurt in this incident. The officer has been placed on administrative duty.

Should police have confronted a gunman in a hospital? The matter is being investigated by several different agencies.

Sheriff Clarke said Children’s Hospital does not screen people — and that hospital security may consider re-assessing this policy for the future.

As for the response inside Children’s Hospital on Thursday, Children’s Chief Medical Officer said as protocol, Children’s activated its active shooter plan, and all buildings were placed on lockdown with employees and patients sheltered in place.

“For all of us — especially for children, incidents like this are undeniably scary. We don’t have any metal detectors. We do, however, always look at, review and implement the safest procedures that we can in terms of protecting and providing the best and safest care for our patients and families. We actually had a drill about a month ago or so to practice that very scenario,” Dr. Michael Gutzeit said.

77 comments

    • Sandy

      It’s weird how M.P.D were conducting a warrant pickup for a man who was wanted for felon in possession of a firearm in a hospital. Then Chief Ed Flynn gets on the news an say, officers identified the suspect in the neonatal unit of the hospital, holding a baby. Then goes on and say the officers told the suspect about his warrant status, and the suspect initially complied with the officers. And began to leave with the offices .Moments later suspect decided to fled THAT’S WHEN –officers noticed he had a gun. Chief Flynn says the officers chased the suspect through the neonatal ward and into a hallway. That’s when the suspect apparently turned on officers and one officer fired twice. Then say the reason why officers was called because someone called about the suspect having a gun. Question—Why didn’t they just arrest the suspect when officer removed him from the room. If they did their routine pat down, they would of felt the gun then..officers had to notice the gun before realizing he had one. M.P.D need to reevaluate their training and procedures. The reason why I’m saying this, a friend got shoot and killed —- after he supposedly threaten police with a gun in the Downtown M.C.T.S building. Where there’s no camera working since, 1986 and a building that is closed to the public. The officers shoot him three times. Why couldn’t they just shoot him in the arm or leg. He might just still be alive today, like the suspect with the gun at Children’s Hospital.

      • Jean

        Why didn’t the put handcuffs on him immediately ??!! Dude is a felon and they thought he was going to come willingly ?? why was he not cuffed and frisked ?? isn’t that the first thing police always do.. oh yeah after your rights of course !!!

  • Jon

    Other news stories on this are claiming there was a shooter in the building. Idiot media trying to be sensational instead of reporting the facts, as usual. Did the “wanted” person even have a gun? If not, what caused the police to shoot at him? Was the shooting justified, or were the police overreacting? Those are the questions a GOOD reporter would have answered in the report so people don’t have to worry unneccesarily about friends and family that are in the hospital.

  • Zach

    This article said that there was a shooter inside the building…but shots were fired by police at a wanted man…It doesn’t say if the wanted man even had a gun…so that makes the police the shooter then right? Cause he fired the shots according to this?

  • CTCMom

    To quote Sheriff Clarke (on another station’s website) “What’s this idiot doing in a neo-natal care unit with a handgun?” Police tried to serve the suspect with a warrant for his arrest for felony possesion of a firearm on the 7th floor neonatal unit. The suspect fled, and pulled out a handgun. Officers then first several shots at the suspect, wounding him. (Also from another station’s website)

  • painnurse

    I am surprised it has taken so long for something like this to occur in a hospital. Getting into a hospital is a piece of cake. Just walk in. I work in one and the security is quite low. Just last evening when leaving work I saw the security person sitting on a bench texting or doing something with her phone. Our security do not have guns. I have my “spots” to go to if I ever hear gunshots.

  • Rob

    Did you guys read the entire article? It does state that “the suspect showed a handgun” and “he turned around several times with the gun.” I’m sorry, If I’m chasing someone and they turn several times with a gun toward me, that is threatening to my life and the lives of others in the imediate area. (Obviously this is all assuming the reporting here is accurate.)

  • Joseph

    what ever happened to…you did something wrong and when the cops come, if you run, you get shot…hopefully not fatally so you can serve your time. Did everyone forget that running from the cops is against the law?

  • Michelle

    I’m not quite clear why the police felt the need to attempt a “warrant pick up” while the suspect was holding a baby in the neonatal unit? Why not wait until he left the unit or exited the building? At this particular time it didn’t say he was doing anything threatening other than holding the baby. I guess everyone is lucky he put the baby down and didn’t take off running with it. I agree that if while running he was flashing a gun, they needed to take action, however maybe better judgment on the original officer/officers who attempted to arrest him should have been taken.

  • selina

    just because he had a gun doesn’t make what happened right the police and this man are in the wrong in my eyes this is a hospital he was not a patient e
    he was visiting the police should have had officers at every door with his pic so that they could have got him as he left the building

    • Matt

      And as he approaches an exit he notices the police presence and it spooks him, so he grabs a hostage and barricades himself in a room…at the same time you do not know his intentions in the hospital with said firearm. Did he feel a child related to him was not getting proper treatment, did he go in there to force a certain treatment? The problem is there are just too many variables that could exist so honestly any theoretical situation of how to approach this issue is guaranteed to have a flaw in it somewhere that someone will be able to point out to say why your idea of how it should have been handled is incorrect.

  • Katie

    WOW Sheriff David Clarke, thanks for avoiding why would an officer go to issue a warrant to someone INSIDE of a hospital, by directing the blame at CHW asking “Why is someone inside a neonatal unit with a handgun?” Sorry, I didn’t know hospitals were supposed to strip search every visitor these days.

  • Mary Brooks

    Hey cops! Great place to serve a warrant, this could have had a terrible outcome. Are you crazy! There are many ways he could have been tricked quietly into leaving the unit and arrested outside. Why would you tell a man holding a baby in a Nicu that he’s under arrest? Unbelievable.
    I can think of numerous ways to close the unit to visitors, happens all the time, example fire alarm, emergency crisis with a baby, emergency surgery. Grand rounds. Etc etc. all visitors then leave.

  • Dian Pitts

    Ok, #1 you do not ever arrest someone in an NICU unit. Do you have any clue how vulnerable those babies are? #2 Unless the suspect is firing a gun why would you fire shots inside a hospital? That officer needs more training. This could have been handled much much better.

    and as an aside, I want to know if those cops scrubbed up before they went into NICU

    • Nanaof4

      A woman called the police on him and said he had a gun. The police responded to a call for help. They find him holding a baby (doesn’t say how he was holding the baby). He puts the baby down and runs. They get him in an islolated hallway and he turns and displays a gun (the police had already been warned by someone that he had one).

      More than likely, he was a menace to the mother and she called the police for help. Had they not reponded and the guy had left the hospital with a sick baby, what would you be saying then?

      Please read and make sure you have comprehended the story before making comments.

    • Sandy

      Sorry if you were mentally disturb by what happen at your work.But when you say shooter, are you talking about the cop who shot the wanted man?…also, working at M.P.D you’ll have a lot of shooters in your work place..how you think they feel? police are human just like me and you.

  • jon rynearson

    so after you complete your time in prison on a felony charge, you lose your CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to own a gun? all gun laws are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED, the last few lines of the 2nd amendment. this is what happens in gun free zones, buildings full of victims. what a meesed up “free” country, lol. you are not free.

  • jon rynearson

    cops don’t kill? tell that to Michael bells family as his mother watched being killed by the kpd. the cop that killed bell committed suicide because of his guilty feeling of killing the guy who was set to testify against him in a case that week.

  • jon rynearson

    reading the article again, the cops are full it. when cops “detain” you, they pat you down after they put cuffs on you. anybody that has ever had the unfortunate pleasure knows this, they claim it is for their protection. but who is protect us from cops? if you trust cops, you are very sad and uninformed.

  • Sandy

    It’s weird how M.P.D were conducting a warrant pickup for a man who was wanted for felon in possession of a firearm in a hospital. Then Chief Ed Flynn gets on the news an say, officers identified the suspect in the neonatal unit of the hospital, holding a baby. Then goes on and say the officers told the suspect about his warrant status, and the suspect initially complied with the officers. And began to leave with the offices .Moments later suspect decided to fled THAT’S WHEN –officers noticed he had a gun. Chief Flynn says the officers chased the suspect through the neonatal ward and into a hallway. That’s when the suspect apparently turned on officers and one officer fired twice. Then say the reason why officers was called because someone called about the suspect having a gun. Question—Why didn’t they just arrest the suspect when officer removed him from the room. If they did their routine pat down, they would of felt the gun then..officers had to notice the gun before realizing he had one. M.P.D need to reevaluate their training and procedures. The reason why I’m saying this, a friend got shoot and killed —- after he supposedly threaten police with a gun in the Downtown M.C.T.S building. Where there’s no camera working since, 1986 and a building that is close. The officers shoot the kid three times. Why couldn’t they just shoot him in the arm or leg. He might just still be alive today like the suspect with the gun at Children’s Hospital.

  • Tom

    This story is a perfect example of police acting outside of the law. Why was the MPD even in Wauwatosa? Especially without notifying the county about their activities. At least that is what it seemed like from what Clarke said.

  • Lynn

    Just an FYI people, I work Children’s The term ” active shooter” is a code that is used for someone with a gun, period, they don’t have to be actively shooting. I pray none of you ever have to hear there is a shooter at your work place. Get over how the warrant was served and thank God no one was hurt but the idiot with he gun.

  • Julie

    Why is everyone so judgemental of what the police are doing? They are not “trigger happy” they are doing their jobs protecting us from scum (like that piece of sh*t who was carrying a glock in the NICU and had tear drop tattoos on his face(which is supposed to signify committing a murder)) Do you think he would have hesitated shooting off (in the NICU) that glock at the police if he had the chance? Next time some psycho or scumbag goes off in your personal space you’ll be wishing that there is a “trigger happy cop” nearby. get a grip folks. Thank a police officer because they protect us from a lot more than ever makes your precious newscast.

    • jb

      The way I see it Julie is you are 100% correct. And… In my opinion. The only reason anyone would have an issue with police officers and feel the need to bash them and how they do what they do is people who have had too many run ins with the cops. I myself have not therefore I have no reason to think that cops are just “trigger happy” or think anything was done maliciously. Carelessly… Some would say so… But you never know what people are capable of.

  • mary

    I want to know how the cops found out he was there….And I have read all these posts and so far I have not seen anybody writing about what would have happened if the cops were not there….why was he carrying a gun in the hospital? Did he have plans of shooting up the hospital….I see some people on here saying well why didn’t they wait until he came out of the hospital…..that might have been too long….like I asked before why was he carrying a gun in the hospital and who told the cops where he was.

  • jb

    Felons arent supposed to carry or use firearms. Period. Doesnt matter if hes sitting in CHW or at a shooting range. If you go there you will see the sign that says no firearms. That applies to everyone. Felon or not. He had no business having a gun in there unless he was waiting for trouble or looking for it. Afterall why else would someone need a gun in a hospital?? Maybe shooting the man in the hospital wasnt a wise idea or approaching him while he was holding a baby wasnt either. But either way he had a gun and no one knows WHAT he was doing with it there. And what he would’ve done with it after he set that baby down.

  • Sarah Blair

    This is RIDICULOUS!!!!!! Why, WHY would you approach a man in a CHILDRENS hospital, let alone a neonatal ward to “discuss” his warrant status?? The police in this situation need to be suspended or fired. They could have easily waited outside for him, approached him as he left and IF he ran or tried to fire, there wouldn’t have been a ward full of BABIES in harms way. If I were a parent with a child in that ward I’d sue the pants off that city. They weren’t protecting shit! The kids could suffer hearing loss from the sound of the gun fire or worse, they could have aversions to loud noises forever because of a traumatic event they’ll never remember. SMH!

  • sam

    Has anybody wondered just why he took a loaded gun into a Neonatal Unit of a Children’s Hosp esp. while holding the infant? Could it be he was related to it and either wanted to steal it/kill it so he didn’t have to support it, etc./use it as a hostage since apparently he was on the run and knew his time was running out and maybe he would take the baby down with him if possible or use it as hostage. Many comments seem to focus on what the officers did wrong but the story focus should be on what was he doing and why?What was his motive/motives?Why a loaded gun in a Neonatal unit? True, they need metal detectors, no doubt, but an announcement of “A shooter in the facility” is standard in most buidlings with people because if they have a gun, they no doubt intend on using it if need be/ as intended. True, you would like to think the officers could have had the time to wait him out til he was in a clear zone away from people, esp. the babies, but what if his intent was to Kill the baby in order to get rid of it, he wouldn’t bat an eye to shoot it and maybe a few others as collateral damage.

    Also, if the previous comment was correct about his crying tattoo on his face meaning he murdered somebody, then again, this could have been a gang related killing. And, maybe it was in retaliation for another killing/for bragging rights/initiation. What better way than to go into a Neonatal unit and blow away innocent struggling little babies. So, you see to try and second guess all of this is futile since we really don’t know the specifics of the case until it’s all revealed in court.

  • Katy

    No matter how this situation could have gone down, everybody thinks they know what’s best and what should have happened. You all need to realize that as long as you weren’t there in the situation yourself, you have no right to comment on how things really occurred or what should’ve been done. Everyone has some type of bias that affects how they think it should be handled.

  • aleksandra

    Since when police go for a warrant to a hospital jeopardizing many peoples lifes knowing he had a warrant for a previous weapon, my mom was working during that time down stairs any one couldnt of been seriously hurt, don’t mention that police dont know how to track a person down any other way!!! Ridiculous police department should have some rype of punishment as well..

  • chawn

    First of all they said they were already on scene but yet enroute to scene they looked up felony warrants i dont care what anyone thinks my daughter was in the nicu for almost a year straight and you do not arrest an already unstable parent in never the less a hospital it could have been handled better plus he never shot a single shot out of the gun but yet police did i say these police need better training instead of thinking they are above the law any felony stops are alao conducted with 4 to 6 police why did 2 lone ranger police go wihout followi g protocol

  • Ringo Lapua

    Bet if you ask him, he is an Obama supporter, is on government welfare and has never paid a dime in Federal income tax. That said, Congress should pass a law prohibiting welfare recipients from owning firearms. First of all, it is proven that they are more prone to be violent. Second, they are not educated and have no means of keeping a weapon safely stored and out of the hands of de chillun. This is a reasonable request and not targeted at any single minority group.

  • Larz

    People are so stupid. Why are you getting mad at the police for doing their job? It doesn’t make any sense. They got the guy didn’t they? No one besides him got hurt. I personally think the police were right. He pulled a gun on them. How else should they have responded?

  • Robert

    Why couldn’t they wait to engage the guy until he was out of the hospital? I haven’t read anything stating he was acting suspicious or that he was brandishing the weapon. Police acted on a tip but actually put everyone in danger by confronting him IN THE HOSPITAL.

  • Rain

    Why didn’t they wait for him outside! I can’t believe they walked into a NICU full of sick babies to arrest a felon they had been told had a gun. This wasn’t an emergency call. I would sue the city for putting my baby in danger with this stunt! They should never have walked into the NICU unless the criminal was waving a gun around and an immediate danger to others. All he was doing was holding his sick baby. They should have waited at the exit to arrest him! I think it’s completeky unforgivable what the police did! I don’t care how they spin it.

  • Sandy

    I’m glad those babies are okay..If the police was smart enough they would have caught this guy with felony charges…before this even took place.. Milwaukee isn’t big…they could of found him..if they want to please..I guess their not getting paid enough…And I read a comment stating.. police are trained to shoot…It doesn’t take a rocket sciencist to shoot a gun..please

  • Hallie

    And it’s a fact that most white people kill them selves and their entire family….Are you part of the 3K’s..that’s why I don’t like Wisconsin…racist..I wish they would of just left my people in Africa..

  • WORKING TAXPAYER

    Did this young man have a job? Was he a taxpayer? Pay child support faithfully? A LAW-ABIDING concealed carry person? NO!!!! Another POS street thug who should of been sitting in jail with his long rap sheet,but our bleeding heart liberals who don’t live in Milwaukee seem to keep letting this POS out on the street. Too bad he didn’t get a bullet between the eyes.

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