MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office issued charges on Thursday, March 10th regarding the triple homicide near 92nd and Beloit on the city's southwest side. That crime happened on Sunday, March 6th.
39-year-old Dan Popp has been charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
Popp made his initial appearance in court on March 10th. He appeared calm in court as the issue of competency was raised. It was determined that Popp will undergo a competency evaluation.
"I think that he is just entirely confused about everything and I'm not sure he understands what's going on. I think he has some significant mental health issues," Christopher Hartley, Popp's lawyer said.
The victims in this case have been identified as 40-year-old Jesus Manso-Perez, 36-year-old Phia Vue and 32-year-old Mai Vue. The victims and Popp lived in the same building -- a four-unit apartment building at 92nd and Beloit.
According to the criminal complaint against Popp, police were dispatched to the neighborhood near 92nd and Beloit around 5:45 p.m. on Sunday for a report of a shooting. While walking up to the apartment building, they came across a young man who stated, "he shot my father; he is in the bathroom."
The complaint indicates police approached the building and "heard a single gunshot come from the building." Officers sought cover by the front porch.
About five to 10 minutes later, the complaint says Popp walked out of the building. He "had a long gun slung over his shoulder." Officers told Popp to drop the gun, but he did not initially comply. The complaint indicates Popp said, "I'm just going to go to the cop car by the curb."
Officers continued to tell Popp to drop the gun and "Popp eventually lowered his shoulder and the gun slid down his arm." Popp then laid on the ground and put both of his hands behind his back. Officers took him into custody.
When officers approached the front door of the building, once Popp was in custody, two children came to the front door and they were carried to safety by officers.
Once inside, officers discovered the door to Apartment #1 had been forced open. The doors to Apartment #3 and Apartment #4 were also open.
Jesus Manso-Perez was found dead -- lying on the landing leading to the second floor.
Mai Vue was found dead inside Apartment #3.
Phia Vue was found dead inside Apartment #1.
Before police arrived at the scene, Manso-Perez and a boy, who lived in Apartment #4, apparently ran into Popp in the hallway of the building as they were headed down into the basement to start a washing machine. The complaint indicates Popp asked if they wanted a beer -- and they declined. The complaint says Popp asked the two of them where they were from. After they replied, "Puerto Rico," Popp apparently said, "Oh, that's why you don't speak English." Popp then went into his apartment (Apartment #3). A few moments later, the complaint says he came out of the apartment, "he raised a long gun," pointed it at the Manso-Perez and stated, "You guys got to go." Popp then allegedly shot Manso-Perez.
The boy immediately ran downstairs. The complaint says "he looked up and saw that the man was pointing the gun at him and he then heard a second shot, which he believed was meant for him." The boy ran outside and headed towards some people who were outside, and 911 was called.
As for the other victims, the criminal complaint indicates Popp knocked on their apartment door (Apartment #1). Phia Vue, his wife Mai Vue and their four children lived in the unit.
Popp apparently asked the person who answered the door, a relative who had been babysitting all weekend, if "someone was knocking." The woman said no. About 10 to 30 minutes later, two to three gunshots were heard in the hallway. Popp allegedly then kicked in the apartment door. Phia Vue, Mai Vue, the babysitter and the four children were inside the unit.
A statement to police said "the man was holding a black rifle and he told them to let him into the bedroom." The complaint says Popp was able to enter the bedroom.
Popp is accused of pointing the rifle at Phia Vue and ordering him to leave the bedroom. Phia Vue left the bedroom, and the door was closed. Those inside the bedroom heard two to three shots, before Popp came back into the bedroom and "told them that everything was safe." The complaint indicates Popp asked those inside the bedroom to come upstairs with him.
Mai Vue told Popp he should go first and they would follow him.
Popp then left the bedroom, but eventually came back. The complaint says he dragged Mai Vue, along with the two younger children out of the apartment while the others followed. Popp dragged Mai Vue up the stairs and the babysitter and the older girl ran out of the building.
Each of the victims who were killed in this case suffered gunshot wounds to the head. Mai Vue also suffered a gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The babysitter in this case, and the son of Jesus Manso-Perez, were able to identify Popp as the shooter during a lineup.
In checking court records, FOX6 News found Popp has a history of financial trouble but nothing more serious. If convicted of the charges, Popp faces up to life in prison.
Popp will next be in court on April 4th.