MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee police officer was shot while investigating a domestic violence related call on the city's south side early Sunday, July 17th -- and neighbors were woken by the commotion.
Officers responded to several calls in the neighborhood near 17th and Morgan for two domestic violence related incidents. During both occasions, the suspect was no longer there when officers arrived.
Around 2:00 a.m., an officer, identified by MPD as 31-year-old Brandon Baranowski, was seated in a squad car conducting an investigation when a suspect approached on foot and fired a gun several times into the squad, striking the officer several times.
The chaos woke up several neighbors living in the area early Sunday morning. Some said they've never heard gunshots in their neighborhood.
"Scary doesn`t explain it. I mean, I`m still shook up now," a neighbor said.
The woman, who didn't want to talk with FOX6 News on camera lives two doors down from where the incident happened.
"I heard five gunshots and somebody had been screaming that they been shot," the neighbor said.
As officers were on scene investigating regarding the injured officer, they heard a single gun shot around 2:30 a.m. nearby. They then found a male who had suffered an apparent self-inflicted fatal gun shot wound to the head. A handgun was recovered next to the suspect.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Sunday called this incident "an ambush." 31-year-old Brandon Baranowski, the officer who was shot, has 13 years of experience on the force. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life threatening but serious injuries. The driver's side window of his squad car was shattered by several gunshots.
“I do believe this was an ambush. Again, it was not an ambush in the sense of Baton Rouge, but the officer was sitting in his squad and was shot. That, to me, is an ambush. He was ambushed," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.
"He was saved by his vest, basically. He was shot more than once and sustained some injuries that require surgery but he was shot in his vest at least one or two times and the vest saved his life," William Jessup, MPD assistant chief said.
"At 2 o`clock in the morning I could hear shouting because the windows were open. You just hear the police officers all over the place. It`s just sad it has to come to that point," Martin Sevilla, a neighbor said.
Police tape marked the crime scene Sunday, where investigators collected clues as neighbors looked on.
"It`s terrible. I`ve been here since `96 and I`ve never had any problems here," Sevilla said.
Just before 9:00 a.m., the police squad was towed away.
Officials say the deceased suspect is a 20-year-old West Allis man with an arrest record which includes two prior felonies. He is the suspect of the domestic violence incidents for which the police were originally called. It is believed this person is the suspect who shot the officer. Officials say ballistic evidence will confirm this in the coming days -- and MPD is not seeking any other suspects.
MPD Assistant Chief William Jessup said as a result of the incident early Sunday, officers in all MPD districts will hit the streets in two-person squads.
"Effective immediately and until further notice and will assess it day by day. Certainly the officers, at this point in time, in light of Baton Rouge and the other incidents occurring nationwide and in the city of Milwaukee will feel more comfortable responding as two person units," Jessup said.
This incident happened on the same day that three police officers were killed and three others wounded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.