Wind advisory for all of SE WI from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday

“He has children:” Widow of man seen in body camera video not pleased it was released

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE -- The widow of a man seen in Milwaukee Police Department body camera video is speaking out. She's not pleased the video was released, and says that was done without her knowledge. 36-year-old Timothy Bunn took his own life during a hostage situation near 76th and Townsend early Tuesday, December 8th.

This was the first case where we've been able to see body camera video -- a first-person view from a Milwaukee police officer since body cameras were rolled out within the department.

Police say officers responded to the scene around 11:45 p.m. Monday, for a report of subjects with guns. When officers arrived, they learned two male suspects entered a home (believed to be a drug house) and were attempting to rob the residents inside.

According to police, officers entered the home and one of the robbery suspects fired shots -- but did not hit the officers.

A Milwaukee Police Department District 7 officer returned fire, but did not strike the suspects.

One of the suspects, a 43-year-old man, fled the scene and was arrested by responding officers.

The remaining suspect continued to hold a 41-year-old man and a 40-year-old woman inside the home against their will -- threatening to shoot them and police.

Body camera video from incident near 76th and Townsend

Body camera video from incident near 76th and Townsend

For 30 minutes, the remaining suspect spoke with a negotiator.

The body camera video shows the silhouette of the police negotiator -- standing at the top of the staircase leading into the basement, trying to reason with the suspect holding the two people hostage below.

Body camera video from incident near 76th and Townsend

Body camera video from incident near 76th and Townsend

After about 30 minutes of negotiations, a gunshot was heard. That's when officers stormed into the basement. Four more shots were heard before officers made it to the basement. There, they found the suspect, 33-year-old Steven Bunn, deceased.

Steven Bunn and Sandra Simms

Steven Bunn and Sandra Simms

The two bound hostages were found lying to the suspect's right and left. They were not shot.

Bunn's wife says the release of that body camera video, without her knowledge, came as a graphic surprise when they sat down to watch the news on Tuesday.

"He was my husband. We've been together for a long time," Sandra Simms said.

Simms says she went to work on Tuesday morning, and came back to watch the evening news. That's when she saw the body camera video.

"He was a good person. He is a good person. He just went through some changes in his life that made him do what he did. The holidays were coming up and he felt pressure," Simms said.

Bunn's family says they were officially notified of Bunn's death hours after the video was released.

Sandra Simms

Sandra Simms

"He has children that were watching the news and they show clips of their father laying on the floor. My daughter said she seen blood on the clip and at the end of the day, she shouldn't have to see this because you're all going to promote a body camera. At the end of that camera, there's a human that laid there and he has children," Simms said.

On Tuesday, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said he was releasing the video because it shows the courage and restraint of his officers.

"You can see what it looks like in real time as opposed to what is often represented in the dry prose of official police reports," Chief Flynn said.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn

"He has children out here that's going through something regardless of what he did. Regardless of what point you all gotta prove," Simms said.

Police said Tuesday the body camera video was important because it shows the split second decisions officers are forced to make.

Chief Flynn said Tuesday they were able to release this video so quickly because his officers did not shoot anyone, which means no outside investigation is needed. Also, because the suspect is deceased, there won't be a complaint against him, and the video won't be needed for his trial.

11 comments

  • Mark

    I have to agree with her. I was surprised the video was released knowing that a deceased person was on it. Not the smartest thinking on MPD’s part.

  • Ijs

    Was it okay because he committed a crime if one of your loved ones pass away from a act of nature while walking across a street would you wanna see their deceased body laying there wrong or right that’s more salt on the wound..

  • MCL

    Bean, I take it you don’t believe in God. Well, that is your right. But, just to answer your question, God has nothing to do with this or any other bad thing that happens in the world. We are quick to blame God when in reality we want nothing to do with them, we have forgotten and tossed Him to the side. Oh, but when things like this happens God is responsible. Get over it!

  • Clarice

    Bean bag you have my prayers. This WORLD Is GETTING WORSE I PRAY Someone LIKE Tim don’t come to your door. Jehovah God is real

  • tony

    Do onto others as you will have them do on to you,God have mercy on his soul.As for the people who have no compassion for this man kids having to see him dead on tv,I hope one day your children get to see you later out 1 day with your brains blowed out

  • dylan

    Get over it…. you can’t have it both ways, either they don’t release the videos early enough or they release them too early.. A good man doesn’t try and rob people hold them hostage at gunp[oint.. of go into drug houses. everyone has pressure and concerns over the holidays..what was he gonna do use the money for xmas gifts.. if this is the example he was for his children maybe they will be better off in the long run not a good example for children

  • Gary Hamilton

    Big deal he was a loser. Maybe others will learn a lesson from this, maybe his kids will learn a lesson from this and not follow in their father’s foot steps. The widow claims he was a good man. What was a good man doing in a drug house. A good man would have been at home with his children or working!

Comments are closed.