MILWAUKEE -- A 32-year-old Milwaukee man has been criminally charged -- accused of killing a BP gas station employee with a baseball bat during a confrontation over shoplifting. It happened in the area of 26th and Lisbon on January 5th.
Derrick Williams is now facing one count of first degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon, habitual criminality repeater.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to the area on January 5th for a battery complaint. Upon arrival, officers observed the Milwaukee Fire Department attempting to save the life of a BP gas station employee, identified as 34-year-old Harjinder Singh.
Singh later died from his injuries.
An autopsy revealed Singh suffered blunt force injuries to the head. His death was ruled a homicide.
Investigators say around 9:00 a.m. on January 5th, a male suspect, later identified as Derrick Williams, stole something from the gas station and the gas station employee, Singh, chased after him. Outside, there was a struggle, and Singh suffered fatal injuries.
Investigators spoke with a witness, who indicated he saw Williams being chased by a gas station attendant, later determined to be Singh. The witness stated that Singh was carrying a bat as he chased Williams, and that Singh then threw the bat at Williams and yelled, “don’t come back.” The witness stated that Singh then turned back to go to the gas station. That's when Williams, according to the witness, picked up the bat, walked up behind Singh and hit him in the head with the bat. The witness heard Williams say "you tried to hit me with a bat, (expletive)."
According to the criminal complaint, Williams admitted to authorities that he was being chased by Singh, who threw a baseball bat at him. Williams then admitted to picking up the bat and hitting Singh four times.
Alisha Graham said the large window in her work space across the street from the scene of this crime reveals more than just everyday traffic.
"This window is our connection for some reason. I don't even know how that happened," Graham said.
It was through that window Graham told FOX6 News in early January she would find a way to communicate with Singh.
"You just have to pray that it never happens to you like that," Graham said.
Graham said Williams is someone she has seen through her shop window. She said Singh's death has brought her closer to the employees inside the BP.
"We still go and play with each other, his other friends. It made us closer through the incident. We talk and share stories. Before I go, I ask him. 'Are you OK?' It tied us together and then you find out we're more alike than you know," Graham said.
Derrick Williams was convicted of a battery incident from October 2015. If convicted in this case, he could face up to 71 years in prison.
He made his initial appearance in court in this case on January 21st. Cash bond was set at $200,000.
On January 27th, he was in court for his preliminary hearing, and bound over for trial. He has pleaded not guilty. He has a scheduling conference set for February 16th.