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‘Nothing can bring him back:’ Man wanted for shooting death of 18-year-old arrested after standoff

Kole Jopek

MILWAUKEE -- A five-hour standoff Tuesday, Jan. 30 ended with the arrest of a suspect wanted in connection with the murder of Kole Jopek, 18, days before his birthday. Neighbors said after Jopek was shot, they stayed with him until the very end.

The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear. It happened on Jan. 25 near 44th and W. Garfield Ave. around 4 p.m. Jopek would've turned 19 on Feb. 4.

Police were on scene Tuesday near 44th and Marion, where they said a suspect in the Jopek murder barricaded himself inside a home. After five hours, the man, 41, was taken into custody without incident.

On Wednesday police said the man was wanted for the shooting death of Jopek.

"It was very emotional. We were all crying," a neighbor who didn't wish to be identified said.

The neighbor said Jopek was shot in a building and nearly made it to the end of the block before he collapsed.

Tactical situation near 44th and Marion

Homicide at 44th and Garfield

"You seen he was shot because he slowly got to falling on the ground and his jacket had a big red spot," the neighbor said.

Flowers and candles were placed at the scene in his memory.

The neighbor said neighbors called for help and stayed by Jopek's side until he took his last breath.

44th and Marion

Homicide at 44th and Garfield

"He was responding and everything. We were asking him if he was OK. He was like 'yeah, I'm OK. I'm fine,' and next thing you know he stopped talking and he was gone after that," Jopek said.

44th and Marion

Homicide at 44th and Garfield

In a statement, the victim's family said:

"We are beyond words, grieving over the loss of our loved one. The shooter has been taken into custody but not formally charges as of yet. We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. We could also appreciate that you respect our privacy at this time of our mourning. Kole was taken from us way too soon and nothing can bring him back."