MILWAUKEE — One of two men charged in connection with a shootout caught on camera near 23rd and State in Milwaukee, which led to a man’s death, was in court Wednesday, Feb. 21.
Dennis Simmons, 38, is charged with first degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, as party to a crime and possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony.
His alleged accomplice, Riccardo Hicks, 27, faces the same charges.
Simmons on Wednesday waived his preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty. A scheduling conference was set for March 1. Hicks will be in court that same day for a hearing.
It was like a scene from a movie: sparks flew as two men fired dozens of shots in the air. Surveillance captured the terrifying moments on Sept. 17 near 23rd and State.
The shooting took the life of Lanell Taylor, 36, and left the community stunned.
“We’ve got an extremely heavily armed criminal population in Milwaukee, and they have no reluctance to use those weapons,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn.
According to a criminal complaint, Simmons and Hicks were seen on camera firing the rounds.
Investigators say someone tried getting into the “Talk of the Town” tavern, but was denied because they had a gun.
An argument erupted and shots were fired. Bullets can be seen in the video sparking as they hit the sidewalk. Prosecutors say Taylor was shot as he walked outside the bar.
"He just got caught in the crossfire. I guess there was two parties shooting. He was just trying to get cover," said Talk of the Town Owner, Dyan Ward.
According to court documents, a tipster went to police after seeing the surveillance on the news and identified the two suspects.
The victim's family released the following statement amid a manhunt for the suspects:
“Although the Taylor family harbors no hatred bitterness or ill feelings towards those involved, there is only one who can give life and take life away, we sincerely hope that someone in the community would help us bring the situation to close by locating the individual at large. Unfortunately society has a lot to do with this by showing and teaching our young men that this is what it takes to be a man. Using guns, robbing stealing and portraying a sense of bravery that's non-existent. It's more cowardice than anything else to shoot someone then run away and hide."