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After housing inspector’s murder, alderman calls for tougher penalties for violent offenses

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee alderman is calling for tougher penalties when it comes to violent offenses after the shooting death of a beloved City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services housing inspector.

Alderman Tony Zielinski said in a statement Tuesday, March 28th he plans to introduce a resolution in April, asking state legislators to toughen the laws.

He said the murder of Greg “Ziggy” Zyszkiewicz highlights the importance of keeping violent offenders off the street.

Tony Zielinski

Zielinski said he also wants to equip certain city workers with a device that can summon help with the touch of a button.

Below is the complete statement from Zielinski’s office:

In the wake of the murder of city inspector Greg “Ziggy” Zyszkiewicz during an attempted carjacking, Alderman Tony Zielinski is introducing legislation that would ask the state legislature to stiffen Wisconsin’s criminal penalties for violent crimes.

“The cold-blooded killing of an upstanding community member like Ziggy dramatizes the need to keep violent criminals off the street,” Alderman Zielinski said. “If the perpetrators of these types of crimes were locked up behind bars where they belong instead of prowling our neighborhoods, Ziggy and many other innocent victims might still be with us today.”

All five of the suspects in the Zyszkiewicz murder and carjacking attempt had extensive criminal histories, Alderman Zielinski said, including charges related to armed robbery, carjacking, assault and battery, weapons, drugs and resisting an officer.

“We’re not talking about harmless nonviolent offenders,” Alderman Zielinski said. “While steps are needed to reform the judicial system so prison cells aren’t wasted on people who don’t belong there, we need tougher laws to deal with both adults and juveniles who have a demonstrated history of violence.”

Alderman Zielinski’s resolution will be introduced at the next meeting of the Common Council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee on April 10.

Additionally, Alderman Zielinski said he will be introducing legislation that directs the city’s Department of Administration to create a plan that would provide city workers whose duties take them into dangerous neighborhoods with devices that can summon emergency assistance at the touch of a button.

Greg “Ziggy” Zyszkiewicz

Charges were filed on Monday, March 27th against three of the five suspects accused in the fatal shooting of Greg Zyszkiewicz, a City of Milwaukee Department of Neighborhood Services housing inspector. 64-year-old Zyszkiewicz was shot and killed during an alleged carjacking near 23rd and Cherry around 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22nd.

Prosecutors say this all began with a crime spree involving the theft of vehicles. Zyszkiewicz was shot in the head, and prosecutors say the man pictured below on the left, 17-year-old Deshaun Scott, pulled the trigger of a shotgun, killing the city worker with 33 years experience.

Deshaun Scott, Qhualan Shaw, Eric Smiley

17-year-old Deshaun Scott, 17-year-old Qhualun Shaw and 21-year-old Eric Smiley now face the following charges:

  • First-degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon (Deshaun Scott)
  • Felony murder (Qhualun Shaw, Eric Smiley)
  • Attempted armed robbery (Deshaun Scott)
  • Armed robbery – party to a crime (all three suspects)
  • Fleeing or eluding an officer (Eric Smiley)
  • Vehicle operator flee/elude traffic officer causing damage to property (Deshaun Scott)
  • Bail jumping, felony (Qhualun Shaw, Eric Smiley)
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon (Eric Smiley)
  • Misdemeanor battery, domestic abuse – infliction of physical pain or injury (Eric Smiley)

All three young men made their initial appearances in court Monday afternoon. Scott fought back tears in the courtroom.

Bail was set as follows:

  • Deshaun Scott: $500,000
  • Qhualun Shaw: $250,000
  • Eric Smiley: $500,000

All three will be back in court for their preliminary hearings on April 6th.

Homicide at 23rd and Cherry

According to the criminal complaint, “the three began the crime spree (on March 22nd) in a Toyota that had been stolen several weeks earlier. They drove that Toyota to a gas station to rob a person and obtain a second car, a Kia. From there they continued and tried to get a third car, a Mustang, but that incident ended with a homicide and the Mustang was not taken.

Later that day, the young men were caught in police chases involving both the Kia and Toyota.

Housing inspector with 33 years experience shot, killed near 23rd and Cherry

The complaint goes on to say “each defendant gave a statement implicating himself and the other two defendants.”

As it relates to the fatal shooting of Greg Zyszkiewicz, the complaint says Deshaun Scott, the alleged gunman, “was riding in the Kia with Shaw and Smiley, looking for a car to take for Scott. Smiley was driving the Kia. They saw the victim on Cherry Street and made a couple U-turns past him. They stopped so they could rob him of the car. Scott got out with the shotgun, which had the butt sawed off and taped. Scott approached the victim and told him not to move. As Scott was adjusting his hand on the shotgun, it went off. He ran back to the Kia, and the three drove away.”

Shaw’s statement to police said “Scott fired the gun. Scott and Shaw ran back to the Kia, and Scott said that he fired the gun because he panicked when the victim grabbed for him.”

Lastly, Smiley’s statement indicated he “heard the shot and saw that Scott now had the shotgun.”

Deshaun Scott

The complaint indicates Scott fled the homicide scene in the Toyota. Around 5:45 p.m. Wednesday, officers spotted the Toyota near 26th and Auer in Milwaukee. Officers activated their squad’s lights and siren to stop the Toyota. The complaint says the “Toyota disregarded these signals, sped up, ran several stop signs and stop lights, and ultimately crashed into a fence and tree, causing it to stop.” Two persons inside the Toyota, Scott and one other person, were pinned inside the Toyota. The complaint says they “exited through the sun roof and were caught after a foot chase.” Scott “had the key fob for the Toyota” and an officer identified him as the driver of the Toyota. The complaint says the “other occupant was a juvenile male.”

Stolen car crashes near 27th and Hope

Eric Smiley

Around 6:00 p.m., police identified the stolen Kia in this case being driven near 25th and Chambers in Milwaukee. The complaint says “officers activated their squad’s lights and siren to stop the Kia. The Kia disregarding these signals, sped up, ran several stop signs, and went the wrong way on a one-way street.” Moments later, other officers spotted the Kia near 20th and Finn Streets. Again, the complaint indicates the Kia “accelerated away from them and ran several stop signs, gaining distance on the squad. The Kia stopped near 18th and Nash Streets, and the occupants fled on foot.” Smiley, Shaw and a third person were all taken into custody a short time later. An officer identified Smiley as the person driving the Kia.

Stolen car abandoned at 18th and Nash

Qhualun Shaw

According to the criminal complaint, Smiley was convicted of felony theft in June 2016. He was not allowed to possess a firearm but “remained released on bail in that case with a condition that he commit no new crime.” Court records also show Smiley was out on bail in another case involving felon in possession of a firearm and felony bail jumping.

As for Qhualun Shaw, the complaint says he was out on bail in a felony case of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. A “condition of his bond is that he commit no crime.”

As for the domestic violence charge against Smiley, the complaint says it stems from an alleged incident that happened around 11:00 a.m. on March 22nd. The complaint indicates Smiley called the mother of his six-month-old child, “asking if he could come get their son. She told him no.” A short time later, Smiley apparently pulled up at the woman’s house “carrying a sawed off shotgun.” The complaint says she yelled at Smiley “to get away, and he pounded on the house with the shotgun.” The two apparently argued outside and “he punched her in the face several times and bit her arm.” The complaint goes on to say when Smiley tried to leave, “she tried to put the Kia in park so he would be there when the police arrived. He ended up grabbing her until she let go of the steering wheel.” When police did arrive, Smiley was gone and the woman “had swelling to her eye and bite marks to her arm.”