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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.