WEST ALLIS -- A 45-year-old woman is facing attempted first degree intentional homicide charges after investigators say she shot the owner of M&M Motors in West Allis. The investigation revealed a motorcycle accident that happened over a decade ago may be the reason she pulled the trigger.
According to a criminal complaint, on Saturday, March 10, the 57-year-old owner of M&M Motors -- which is located near 100th and Greenfield -- was in the parking lot to fill up a Honda Pilot with gas and inflate a low tire.
When backing up the Pilot, investigators say a Jeep Cherokee -- driven by 45-year-old Melissa Sandrone of Milwaukee – pulled directly in front of the driveway and blocked the owner's exit.
The criminal complaint states the M&M Motors owner asked Sandrone to move her Jeep, but she proceeded to get out of the vehicle and ask him, “Who are you?” When the owner identified himself, investigators say Sandrone started firing a gun and struck the him in the head and back.
The complaint states the M&M Motors employee attempted to ram his vehicle into the front of Sandrone’s Jeep to get away, but it did not move so he ran inside the dealership – yelling for someone to call 911.
According to a criminal complaint, during the shooting, the dealership owner described Sandrone’s face as “very cold and it appeared to have no expression or movement.” However, he did not recognize Sandrone as someone he knew.
Another dealership employee – who witnessed the aftermath of the shooting from a window -- stated to investigators, Sandrone was smiling after the shooting.
Investigators say another employee -- a mechanic of M&M Motors -- hopped in the Honda Pilot and followed Sandrone, who had gotten back into the Jeep and was driving in reverse westbound on Walker Street. The criminal complaint states the mechanic also drove in reverse and witnessed Sandrone back into a driveway about three houses away. The mechanic stated to investigators, he pulled up to the Jeep’s bumper and Sandrone pointed a pistol at him and fired two shots. The complaint says Sandrone then started to drive away.
Meantime, police and first responders were on their way to M&M Motors. According to the criminal complaint, the mechanic spotted a marked police squad and flagged them down by honking his horn.
Police located the Jeep a short time later, near South 108th and Greenfield, and a traffic stop was initiated.
According to the criminal complaint, Sandrone stated to police she was, "heavily armed with several guns and lots of knives." Officers stated Sandrone had numerous weapons in her waistband, including a gun, loaded rifle magazine and several knives.
She was taken into custody without incident. Her arrest was captured on cellphone video by a FOX6 viewer.
Upon a search of the Jeep, officers located the following:
- A black semiautomatic HK P30 .40 caliber pistol loaded with .40 caliber Federal ammunition - one round in the chamber and 5 in the magazine (seen in plain view on the center console)
- A black/wooden Zastava 7.62x39 mm assault rifle with shoulder strap and magazine containing 30 Tulammo 7.62x39mm rounds (seen in plain view on the front passenger seat)
- A spent Federal .40 caliber casing located on the exterior of the windshield wedged in between the windshield and the hood
- A machete in a sheave located between the front driver’s seat and the center console
- A Wisconsin Driver’s License bearing the name of Melissa Sandrone; a Concealed Carry License listing to Sandrone; a business card for Fletcher Arms; and the “Art of War” book with underlined quotes on several of the pages all located in a purse on the passenger side floor mat
- A utility axe in a sheave located in the purse
- A Rubbermaid bin located in the trunk containing items such as a small shovel, a plastic tarp, a blanket, a small axe, foot warmers, glow sticks, first aid kit, dried fruit, a flash light and toilet paper
Investigators say at her Milwaukee home, police discovered hundreds of rounds of ammo.
According to the criminal complaint, Sandrone asked for an attorney. However, during the booking process, investigators say Sandrone asked "why she would go to jail if she didn't hurt anyone." The criminal complaint says the detective did not respond because Sandrone a requested an attorney.
The criminal complaint states Sandrone continued talking, stating that "based on the angle she was at [during the shooting] she knows that he was not injured badly." Investigators say further during the booking process, Sandrone was "friendly" and was "making jokes."
So what would make Sandrone shoot someone? According to the criminal complaint, Sandrone's mother told investigators her daughter was very angry with someone that she believed caused her to a have a major motorcycle accident 14 years ago. Sandrone received a serious head injury during the accident.
Investigators spoke with a person who knows both Sandrone and the M&M Motors employee. According to the criminal complaint, he stated the M&M Motors employee was part of the group of motorcyclists' riding the day of Sandrone's crash many years ago. He stated Sandrone "blamed [him] for years, she was very angry."
Officials say the victim suffered a gunshot wound to the neck and back. Metal bullet fragments remain lodged in his scalp and they won't be removed at this time.
Melissa Sandrone has been charged with two counts of attempted first degree intentional homicide.
In court Thursday, March 15, she was ordered to have a competency evaluation.
As for the victim, his brother tells FOX6 News he is at home recovering.