MILWAUKEE (WITI) — FOX6 News is learning more after two teens were shot to death on Milwaukee’s north side on Wednesday afternoon, March 12th. Milwaukee police say a 39-year-old maintenance worker is in custody at the Milwaukee County Jail in connection with the shooting. But could this be a case of self-defense?
A 19-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl were shot and killed in an apartment building near 27th and Vliet on Wednesday afternoon. The shooting reportedly occurred after some sort of argument.
Milwaukee police on Thursday identified the 19-year-old and 17-year-old. The 19-year-old is identified as James Bell, Jr. The 17-year-old is identified as Anmarie Miller.
Family members tell FOX6 News the two were a couple, who had young children together.
“She has two babies and it`s just — she wont be there now. We will help support those children. I lost a family member, and that’s all my concern is right now,” Miller’s cousin, David Guerrero said.
“He wasn’t a bad kid. It’s just — everybody makes bad decisions in their life. Things don’t go as planned. I wish the outcome would’ve been better,” Devonte Coleman, a friend of Bell’s said.
A representative from the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office says the case is under review by their homicide unit — but there is no word yet about possible charges.
Meanwhile, a vigil was held at the scene Thursday evening in honor of the teens who were shot and killed.
At the door to the apartments where the shooting occurred on Wednesday, on Thursday, Bob Braun talked with FOX6 News about his friend, who is now behind bars.
“I know him to be a peaceful person. He’s lived and worked in the inner city for 10 years as a maintenance man,” Braun said.
Since he hasn’t been charged in the case, FOX6 News is not naming the maintenance worker, but police say he was changing the locks at the apartment building near 27th and Vliet when he and the teens began to argue.
Investigators say the teens, along with a 20-year-old man, held the maintenance worker down and beat him with a baseball bat.
“Apparently, these people were mad that a friend of theirs was getting evicted. They thought – apparently – that he was the manager,” Braun said.
That’s when police say the maintenance man pulled out a gun and shot the 19-year-old and 17-year-old.
Braun believes the shooting was in self-defense.
FOX6 News has learned the maintenance man has a concealed carry permit and was in legal possession of the gun.
Sources tell FOX6 News the maintenance worker has asked for a lawyer while in custody — and as of Thursday morning, he had not provided a statement to police.
FOX6 News is told the incident cannot be considered self-defense until a statement is given.
Attorney Alex Flynn isn’t representing the maintenance man in this case, but says based on the facts we’ve heard so far, he believes the man could argue that he fired his weapon in self-defense.
“In all self-defense situations, a person may use that degree of force necessary to repel the force against them,” Flynn said.
Flynn says we may even hear an argument for the Castle Doctrine.
“The Castle Doctrine says you can use force presumptively if it`s your home, car or business. Now, this is where he worked,” Flynn said.
We are also told the fight and shooting were captured on video.
Family members and friends of the teens say they want to see the video before making any assumptions about what happened.
“Hopefully we can see the tape and get some answers,” Guerrero said.
The 20-year-old man involved in this incident was arrested for substantial battery.
Police say they have recovered the bat and the gun used in this incident.