MILWAUKEE -- A 64-year-old City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services employee who has worked with the department for 33 years was shot and killed near 23rd and Cherry in broad daylight on Wednesday, March 22nd.
"This is a very, very, very, very horrific event, and a very, very difficult time for (the victim's) family. It is a difficult time for the City of Milwaukee. It's the most difficult day I've had as mayor to go through this, and see what this is like and talk to (the victim's) family members," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said at the scene Wednesday afternoon.
The Department of Neighborhood Services "Special Enforcement Agent" was in the area to conduct a house inspection.
"He was wearing a wind breaker that identified him, and had a clipboard and paperwork -- obviously on city business. We're still ascertaining whether he conducted the inspection or not," Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said.
Police got a call around 2:00 p.m. to check the welfare of a man found slumped over the wheel of his vehicle.
Officials with the Milwaukee Fire Department arrived on scene first, and upon police arrival, Chief Flynn said they observed the victim "suffered catastrophic wounds and was deceased."
Chief Flynn said gunfire was heard on scene after the arrival of first responders, but Flynn said "that does not appear to be the case" when asked whether police and firefighters were "shot at."
Flynn said Wednesday afternoon there was no reason to believe the gunfire was related to this homicide.
A witness said he heard the gunfire at the scene Wednesday afternoon after spotting the victim slumped over the wheel of his vehicle.
"We was on the way to the pantry and said 'that don't look right, let me stop.' The car was still running. We seen him laying over. I said 'it looks like somebody got shot,' Donald Jones said. "That's when she called police. I told her to call police and they came. The fire trucks came first. They went over and looked at it, and told us to move back. We heard five shots back here, and the fireman and all of us ran -- me and the fire department and my friend. The fire truck went back to the station. He jumped in the truck and took off. He told us to run and we ran. It's messed up to see something like that happen."
Chief Flynn said an investigation is now underway to determine a motive for this homicide, and determine whether this incident was related to other criminal activity in this area.
Meanwhile, Mayor Barrett said the victim's family is "in shock."
"This individual spent 33 years working for DNS. Our prayers go out to his family. We're going to do everything we can to apprehend the crazy individual who took the life of this city employee. His wife said he loved his job. He was first hired in 1984 and was very, very, very well-respected and liked in the department. I want people to appreciate the work these city employees do. He deserves their love and respect right now," Barrett said.
We're told an autopsy will be performed on Thursday.
Mayor Barrett issued this statement:
“This afternoon I was notified that a Department of Neighborhood Services special enforcement inspector was killed during his work day.
I’m enormously saddened and angered beyond words. This public servant dedicated his career to the City and its people. He was admired by his colleagues, promoted by his superiors and respected by everyone he came in contact with.
I have met with his family and told them the entire City shares their sadness.
I have had discussions with the police chief about the department’s investigation. They share my sense of urgency in solving this case.
This is devastating news for his family, friends and coworkers. My thoughts are with all of them.”
MPD is working to determine a motive. Anyone with information is asked to call Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360.
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.