MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Three people are dead after an incident Sunday, April 12th near 48th and Glendale on Milwaukee's north side that began with a two-year-old child hit by a van and ended in gunfire. Police on Monday identified the victims in this case -- two-year-old Damani Terry, his 15-year-old brother Rasheed Chiles and 40-year-old Archie Brown. We are learning more about Brown, a man many say was murdered while trying to do the right thing after a tragic accident.
Officials say their investigation shows 40-year-old Archie Brown was driving a van northbound on N. 48th Street when two-year-old Damani Terry ran into the road. The van struck the child and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Brown, whom witnesses indicate was distraught about hitting the child, stopped and exited the van immediately following the crash and was fatally shot by an unknown suspect. Brown was also pronounced dead at the scene.
Officials say a second victim, 15-year-old Rasheed Chiles was also fatally shot by the suspect. Chiles was taken to a hospital where he died from his injuries.
Brown was a well-known Milwaukee businessman. Homer Blow, a Milwaukee D.J. and radio talk show host was friends with Brown. When he learned what happened, he raced to the scene.
Those who knew Brown describe him as a successful, caring member of the community with four children of his own. He developed and opened restaurants in the community.
Blow, a friend of Brown's, raced to the scene Sunday evening in time to see his friend covered with a tarp. Another tarp shielded the toddler who darted into the street in the path of Brown's van.
"He wasn't even going but 25, 30 miles-an-hour," a witness said.
On Blow's live podcast Monday, he said Brown's van's doors were left open, as Brown ran out in horror. Blow was very emotional as he talked about what happened.
"He was saying he was sorry. 'I didn't see the baby. I'm sorry. Call 911. I'm sorry. I'm sorry,' and he was crying," Blow said.
Blow says that's when a man related to the toddler came out and told Brown he just signed his death certificate -- shooting Brown in the face.
"Just to hear how this coward took my friend's life in cold blood for doing the right thing..." Blow said.
Blow says Brown never lost sight of helping others when he could. He owned properties, opening doors to those who were homeless, remembering the times he was homeless himself.
Brown's father, Archie Brown Sr. says he's relying on faith as he comes to terms with the loss of his son.
"Everything that happens, I say God has a reason for it happening. For whatever reason, God allowed this to take place. He`s the one that knows why. Being angry wouldn't do any good for me right now. You cry, you're hurt, you're disappointed. You say 'why, Lord? Why my son? I mean, my oldest son -- why?" Brown Sr. said.
"He gets out and does the right thing and he loses his life," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said Monday.
Mayor Barrett held a news conference Monday afternoon, where he criticized Governor Scott Walker and the state Legislature for passing laws that put more guns on the streets. He is calling for more resources to deal with all the violence in Milwaukee.
"I do want to lock up more people who do get involved in gun fights in parks, in streets, outside taverns because black lives matter," Mayor Barrett said.
Sheriff David Clarke Jr. issued the following statement in response to Mayor Barrett's comments:
“Will someone in the mainstream media please do their job and ask Tom Barrett to tell us how many of these criminal homicides involved concealed carry permit holders? And ask for his empirical data to demonstrate his claim that it has led to an increase of guns on the street. His rhetoric today, after yet again another violent weekend in the city of Milwaukee, is nothing more than the liberal anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment talking point memo.
Because Mayor Barrett has no effective response to the continued violence in the city of Milwaukee, he attempts to distract by blaming the gun instead of the behavior, and blaming his political adversaries. The overwhelming majority of law-abiding gun owners throughout the state of Wisconsin do not use them to settle disputes, or take property from people. The Castle Doctrine and CCL were designed to help people protect themselves, especially while Barrett is furloughing Milwaukee police officers.
Tom Barrett’s claim that Milwaukee is a safe city flies in the face of the violence that has gone on unabated for several years. When a man inadvertently strikes a child with his car, stops to render aid, and gets killed for it, there is something horribly wrong. Barrett claimed that this was an assassination. It was not. To assassinate is to kill secretively, especially a politically prominent person; a murder that is premeditated. This was not premeditated, but a senseless murder we see all too often in Milwaukee.”
Senator Nikiya Harris Dodd (D-Milwaukee) represents the area where the three victims were killed.
"Why did this child who was hit by accident all of a sudden turn into a double homicide? For an individual to take matters into their own hands and murder him -- it`s sickening. It`s sickening and it needs to stop," Senator Dodd said.
Dodd and Archie Brown's father worry drivers who hit someone in the future will be afraid to stick around at the scene.
"If you hit someone, you don`t want to just run, but yet you don`t want to stay and be mobbed either," Brown Sr. said.
Milwaukee police are working to identify the shooter. Anyone with information is asked to call Milwaukee Police at 414-935-7360.
Milwaukee Attorney Michael Hupy, with the law firm Hupy & Abraham is offering a $25,000 reward in this case.