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“Dangerous situation:” Suspect, passenger hurt after pursuit, shootout with Wauwatosa police

MILWAUKEE -- A police chase that ended in a shootout early Tuesday morning left two people wounded and four people in custody. Wauwatosa Police said their officers returned fire after the driver started shooting at them moments after the chase ended near the intersection of 85th and Concordia on the Milwaukee's northwest side.

"First, I heard a crash. It was sirens and then a crash," said Sandy Donnell, who lives on the street where the incident occurred. "The car had just crashed over there and then I heard the shooting -- and it was many -- and my bedroom is close by so it's just 'hit the floor!'"

Wauwatosa officer-involved shooting

Wauwatosa Police Captain Brian Zalewski said Donnell witnessed the end of the chase that started on 92nd Street between Hampton and Capitol. When officers tried to stop a suspicious car around 12:30 a.m., the driver took off. Zalewski did not specify Tuesday why officers found the car to be suspicious but said investigators later determined the car was reported stolen last week in Milwaukee.

After hitting stop sticks, the car crashed near 85th and Concordia in Milwaukee.

"Immediately upon stopping, the driver exited the car and immediately began shooting at our officers," Zalewski said. "The suspect fired multiple rounds in the direction of our officers, striking one of our squad cars at least two times."

Wauwatosa officer-involved shooting

Police said the officers fired back, hitting the driver -- a 23-year-old Milwaukee man. A 19-year-old female passenger was also wounded. Police said they're not sure whose bullet hit her. Both people were treated and released into police custody.

Police said they arrested all two other passengers in the car, which was reported stolen in Milwaukee last week. Donnell provided cell phone video in which orders from the officers for the suspects to keep their hands up are audible. In the darkness, it's the hard to see much besides the sirens and squad cars.

Throughout the day on Tuesday, investigators from Wauwatosa Police, Milwaukee Police, and the Wisconsin Department of Justice combed the scene for numerous casings.

"The investigation is still ongoing, but clearly faced with this dangerous situation, our officers acted decisively and they did what they had to do in order to protect themselves," said Zalewski.

Donnell said she's just relieved no one else was hurt.

"(My adult children are) all saying, 'time to leave Milwaukee,'" said Donnell. "But it actually is- it can happen anywhere and I feel this is a nice neighborhood."

Zalewski said Wauwatosa Police are leading the investigation with assistance from Milwaukee Police and the Wisconsin DOJ.