MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee police officer was shot in the neighborhood near 28th and Wright Wednesday evening, July 25, according to MFD officials. Milwaukee police said the suspect is in custody.
MPD Chief Alfonso Morales in an update around 6:30 p.m. confirmed the officer, a 17-year veteran of the department and friend of the chief died as a result of his injuries. Chief Morales confirmed the suspect was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered.
Morales said this started with a check for a suspect wanted on drug and gun violations, involving members of MPD's Special Investigation Division. Officers approached and encountered the suspect at a residence before shots were fired at officers. During an exchange of gunfire, "one of our members was injured," Morales said.
"I'm saddened to inform you the officer injured did not make it today. This is a difficult time for us. He was well loved by the department and a friend of mine," Morales said.
Chief Morales noted the suspect was not shot. An MPD spokeswoman said the suspect was arrested near 28th and Meinecke.
"Words cannot describe the sorrow and anger I feel at this time. Our police officers as they do every single day, put their lives on the line to protect the people who live in this city. Tragically, in the last few hours, one of them lost their lives trying to protect us. We as a community are grieving. The police department is grieving. This officer had been on the department a long time -- well respected. Well liked. He was doing what he was hired to do -- protect us. As police undertook their activities today, they knew they were undertaking a dangerous assignment as they do every single time they respond. I'm asking every resident of this city to pray for the families of police officers, to respect our police officers and thank them for the sacrifices they and their families make on our behalf," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
A witness told FOX6 News one man apparently had a confrontation with an officer in the street -- and fired shots at the officer. The witness indicated the officer was not in good shape.
Below is what the witness told FOX6 News at the scene, describing what he saw unfold:
"Apparently it was a stop, and the guy hopped right out of the car and he's like 'I'm not going back to jail,' and he got to shooting out the gate. Just got to shooting. And not only did he hit the officer, but he hit other innocent bystanders that was in the area. As of now, the officer, it don't look like he's in great condition right now. It don't look like he's gonna make it, to be honest. I stay right there on the corner, so I actually seen everything unfold from beginning to last. It was on the next block. I don't know if they was getting ready to run into his house, or if it was just a traffic stop, but you could see the man get right out the car and just get to shooting and yelling 'I'm not going back to jail. Y'all going to have to kill me.'
We need to address this problem that's going on in this city of Milwaukee -- because if it's not a death, it's either a car accident, it's either a robbery and it's getting to the point where everybody needs to sit down as a community and address what really needs to be addressed because this is not the Milwaukee that I grew up in. This is not the Milwaukee that I know. This is chaos. Every day -- chaos. And it doesn't make any sense, and it's about the community standing up and giving the community resources and things that they need to keep their life going in the right track."
Chief Morales said DA Chisholm and the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation are assisting with this investigation.
"We are here simply to assist and make sure the investigation is done in a fair and independent way, then we transfer to the accountability phase. Again -- my deepest sympathies to the police department and family who has lost a loved one," said Chisholm.
On Wednesday night, there was an emotional procession as the officer's body was carried from the hospital to the medical examiner's office.