MILWAUKEE -- It's the kind of excuse you can see right through. A man accused in a domestic shootout on Sunday, December 27th says he didn't fire the shots. His invisible friend did.
Court documents released Thursday, December 31st show the man allegedly made that claim to police after breaking into his ex-girlfriend's home, shooting at her, and starting a fire.
31-year-old Eric Ortiz of Milwaukee faces multiple charges in connection with the domestic situation that happened on the city’s southwest side, near 99th and Oklahoma.
Ortiz is charged with the following:
- Burglary (arms self), domestic abuse repeater, habitual criminality repeater
- First-degree recklessly endangering safety, domestic abuse repeater, use of a dangerous weapon, habitual criminality repeater, domestic abuse assessments
- Possession of a firearm by a felon, habitual criminality repeater
- Bail jumping (felony), habitual criminality repeater, domestic abuse assessments - two counts
According to the criminal complaint, Ortiz forced entry into the home of his ex-girlfriend near 99th and Oklahoma early on December 27th. The woman told police she had a no contact order against Ortiz -- and "that she was granted a four-year domestic abuse injunction, prohibiting the defendant from contacting her." She indicated Ortiz had previously threatened her life, and she believed he would come and kill her.
The woman indicated early on December 27th, she received an alert on her cell phone -- showing there was movement detected on one of the cameras she has outside her home. The woman viewed the image and saw the camera had been turned so she couldn't view her front door.
In the hours prior to Ortiz showing up at her home, the woman told police she received "numerous calls from a blocked number, which she believed were from the defendant." She "also received a number of threatening messages from the defendant, even making threats that he would die." Because of these calls and messages, the woman told police she "retrieved her firearm and kept it in her bed with her."
Early Sunday, the complaint indicates Ortiz gained access to the woman's home -- and she ran into the bathroom with her firearm to seek shelter. The woman lied in the bathtub and could see "the defendant in the mirror through an opening in the door. At one point, she told police Ortiz pointed the firearm into the bathroom and shot into the bathroom." The complaint says the woman "begged the defendant not to kill her and at one point felt a bullet go past her head." The woman "then fired 5 times through the door to step the defendant from shooting her."
A short time later, the woman told police she "began to smell smoke coming into the bathroom." The complaint also says Ortiz "made statements about this being a 'hostage situation.'"
When police spoke with Ortiz, he said his ex-girlfriend "invited him over." He also told police "that his invisible friend was present during the shooting." When Ortiz was asked what he did when the woman fired shots, he said that he "fired back but then following up by stating that his invisible friend fired back."
According to the complaint, Ortiz acknowledged the "no contact" order involving his ex-girlfriend, but he said "a judge can't tell him he cannot be with her."
The criminal complaint makes reference to Ortiz's prior criminal history, which includes 2014 convictions for disorderly conduct, contact after domestic abuse arrest, and a forgery conviction from 2003.
Additionally, the complaint makes reference to an open case out of Milwaukee County that charges Ortiz with criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct, battery, and theft of movable property from a person/corpse.
In October, $10,850 cash bail was set in that open case, which Ortiz posted. He was ordered not to possess any firearms or weapons, and ordered not to commit any further crimes. He was also ordered not to have any contact with his ex-girlfriend, her home, and her place of employment.
That case out of Milwaukee County also involved alleged violence against his ex-girlfriend. He was accused of keying her vehicle, seeking entry to his ex-girlfriend's home, and stealing her cell phone. In that case, Ortiz is accused of telling police he is a "Latin King," and that a restraining order is "nothing but paper."
Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.