“Where are we safe?!” Man gunned down inside Fox Point optical store

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FOX POINT (WITI) -- A big question remains following a fatal shooting that occurred Thursday, August 14th inside Innovative Optique -- a store in a strip mall near Port Washington Road and Brown Deer Road: Who is the person who was shot and killed? Investigators were finally able to enter the store hours after the shooting. They were waiting for a search warrant to be obtained due to the nature of the crime.

Investigators at the scene on Thursday night were searching for clues -- trying to determine what happened.

Police say an initial 911 call came in around noon as an armed robbery. First responding officers went inside the store and identified a shooting scene.

"Upon arrival, we learned a robbery had occurred at this location.  There is one person deceased in the store," Acting Fox Point Police Chief Christopher Freedy said.

Fox Point police say an attempted armed robbery occurred just after noon.

It took more than six hours to obtain a search warrant so that investigators could enter the store. Once that search warrant was obtained, officials with the Wisconsin Crime Lab were working to process the scene.

Police say they are talking with two persons of interest in this case.

Police say the store's owner has been interviewed.

Police still won't say who has been killed -- or their connection to the store.

A FOX6 News crew on Thursday observed a woman overcome with emotion -- believing the person lying dead inside the store may be her son.

Former employees of the store say they were relieved to learn their former boss is okay.

"I was very shocked and I wanted to make sure it wasn't him," a former employee said.

FOX6's Bret Lemoine spoke with a customer of the optical store who says it sells "high-end" frames -- and that there have been several robbery attempts there recently.

Suzy Ettinger came to the store Thursday, to get her glasses adjusted. She says she knows what she saw there on Thursday afternoon -- no prescription needed.

"It's very frightening. Here we are on the North Shore. Where are we safe?!" Ettinger said.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner was called out to the scene for a male victim, pronounced dead at the scene.

The store has been the target of crooks before.

In 2009, a robber demanding money was put in a headlock by the store's owner. That individual got away, but was caught by police after a high-speed chase.

"I was just glad it wasn't (the owner) that got hurt. I was relieved," a former employee said.

"He's the kind of guy who comes in and gives a hug -- so he's like family. It's very, very sad," former employee Reyn Appell said.

Former employees say the store's valuable merchandise makes it a target.

Customers say some of the frames sold at the store are $2,300 a piece.

"They couldn`t rob due to the fact that they wanted only expensive frames and they are locked up," Ettinger said.

This time, Ettinger says there was a getaway car.

"He had accomplices down the block -- literally waiting to run with them," Ettinger said.

The getaway car almost hit Laronda Campbell.

"We just was driving and we was turning in the turning lane and good thing I stopped in time because we would have been another casualty," Campbell said.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke says multiple agencies are assisting in this investigation.

In this case, we're told police asked for a search warrant just to be extra careful with this fatal shooting scene.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office is set to perform an autopsy on the deceased individual. Once that autopsy has been performed and family members have been notified, the identity of the deceased will be released.

Police say witnesses and store employees are cooperating with this investigation.

The Bayside Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office and the Wisconsin Crime Lab were taking part in this investigation.

FOX6 News has a crew on the scene -- and we will update this story when possible.


  • Anonymous9

    You can clearly tell Ms. Ettinger is referring to the suspects being black. The use of “they” & “we” prove this. She’s quoted as saying “It’s very frightening. Here we are on the North Shore. Where are we safe?!”. She obviously means white people. I’m in no way excusing this as a crime & I recognize that a life was lost but, doesn’t it make you wonder?

    • Vince

      I am fairly certain she means wealthy people irrespective of race. While the immediate area is predominantly white, there is a significant Asian/sub-contintental population there as well as a smaller, but present African-American population as well. And the non-white, but also monied, citizens in my experience working in and with that community for years and years encounter little to no problems vis-a-vis race… the north shores reaction to poverty and especially the poor coming into their neighborhoods is pretty astounding.

  • Bill Watts

    The police tried, but everyone wants to protest them. You libs don’t get it both ways, welcome to the bed you made!!! To catch the wolf you have to be a wolf, but the city has decided to lock the cops up, and make the drug dealers the victim. WELCOME TO REAL LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tonya

    Is it just me or is the text version of thos story incredibly hard to follow? Seriously…its all over the place. It jumps back and forth from employees to search warrant to past burglaries to this current burglary, which is never fully explained.

    • Richard

      You are absolutely correct! I stopped reading it half way through because of how poorly it is written. Not sure where they find these “journalist”, but clearly the requirements these days are far less then they were years ago. Then again, all the computers and tech they have allowed in schools over the last 20 years, it doesn’t shock me that we are demonstrating lower skills and brain power. Especially with the most recent generation! If we were ever to have a complete systems failure, they would be screwed!

  • Chris Multerer

    Apparently this establishment has been targeted a couple times before. He may want to consider an armed guard. BTW..the low life dreggs will go anywhere to commit crimes. Doesn’t matter what race you are..you’re still a piece of $&%& if you do kill someone.

    • Richard

      Do you know the cost for an armed guard during business operations, seven days a week? Why should he have to rely on someone else to save him? Not to mention that an armed guard isn’t a promise that you are safe! Just like the police! Instead, he should get a CCW, train with his weapon and own his security! It would be a heck of a lot cheaper to buy a gun, ammunition and get a license than to hire some guard who may or may not be paying attention when those armed assailants come in to rob and possible kill him! Stop relying on others to secure and keep you safe! It’s time to take responsibility and learn how to protect yourself! Otherwise you’re just a victim in the waiting!

  • 2econd

    Richard and Bill… thank you for sayin’ it like it is! I hope Barrett and Flynn read these, not that they would get it anyways….

  • Justin Allison

    The suspect here was obviously “African-American.”
    I live in Fox Point, and I’ve seen how the police here maintain the status quo when it comes to making an example of black criminals.
    First there was the attempted robbery of the small bank next to Walgreens in Riverpoint there. The black male suspect had a gun, fled in his car, and was ultimately shot dead by police near the Residence Inn by Good Hope Rd.
    Next, there was the attempted robbery of the Gamestop also at RiverPoint. The difference here? This black male suspect did not have a gun, but once again he fled and was ultimately shot dead around the corner from House of Roth dry cleaners. He did not commit the robbery attempt with a gun, he had no gun, and yet he was still shot dead.
    And now we have this incident, although I believe it was not the police who killed this black male but possibly a CC individual.
    Point being, I believe Fox Point/Bayside police make a point to always shoot and kill if possible. Sends a message to others, perhaps making them think twice before trying anything. I mean you can’t even drive around without getting pulled over as a black individual around here.

    • Dan

      I don’t think its a bad message to send. Don’t do crime in our neighborhood or we shoot to kill…regarding the rest of what you said “cant even drive around here while being black without getting pulled over” is BS. Although if you look at facts that most of the crimes in this area are black it cant be denied that stereotypes are usually warranted and its not your fault.

      • Rick

        Most of the crimes reported by media is by blacks but white people commit their number of rapes,incest,drug use ,robbery and murder. You people aren’t special you just enjoy the cache of history which we all know is a web of untrues….if ALL crime and criminal behavior was reported UNBIASED you would find whites are even more crooked than every other race combined…. Just because the fruit looks good on the outside doesn’t mean it’s not poison #foxpointnorthshorecedarburgmequan….

  • El gato

    Do you think the rioters in Ferguson, or Sharpton, Obama, the NAACP, etc. will demonstrate against the black thugs who killed this unarmed person who I bet is white? Hypocrites one and all!

  • educated one

    You mean that the “GUNS NOT ALLOWED sticker” did not keep a bad guy with a gun out of the store??? Please tell me where these GUN FREE ZONES WORK???

  • Rick

    Search warrant because you’re being careful? I guess the “Northshore” is the only place that warrants “being careful”… Because there is no wrongdoing here….I feel for the family of the deceased but to imply special treatment due to the location is just wrong.

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