SUSSEX -- A domestic dispute leads to a standoff with police in Sussex early Thursday, June 16th. The situation ended peacefully, but it is just the latest in a string of five serious reports of violence in the home within the last six days.
Residents in the Sussex neighborhood woke up to a scary scene Thursday.
"There were police hiding behind cars with assault rifles," said Patricia Koepsell.
Around 5:30 a.m., the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of shots fired in a home. Inside was a man with a gun. His girlfriend and four children were hiding in various rooms.
The suspect surrendered to law enforcement peacefully after about two hours.
Despite the terror, the family involved in this case is among the lucky ones.
Four other domestic violence-related incidents in the Milwaukee area in the past six days have ended in lives lost.
"When you see so many incidents in less than a week, it's very concerning," said Carmen Pitre from the Sojourner Family Peace Center.
On Saturday, two people were killed in two separate crimes. On Wednesday, a man was fatally stabbed. Lastly, a woman remains in the hospital after being shot in the head overnight. Police believe all stem from threats within the home.
Petri said the first step toward preventing this kind of violence is to reassure victims that they can reach out for help.
"Find a pastor, a friend, a neighbor, somebody at work," Petri said.
"This is not a new problem, a new issue. I think it is rising to a new level, which should be calling all of us to attention," Petri said.
If you or someone you know if a victim of domestic abuse or abusing someone else, you can call the Sojourner 24-hour crisis number at 414-933-2722. You can also download the Sojourner app on your smart phone -- which connects you with multiple resources.