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‘Where is the safe?’ Man accused of shooting clerk during food mart robbery pleads not guilty

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Santonio Barksdale

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man charged in connection with a shooting that unfolded during an armed robbery at a food mart near 19th and Hampton on March 1 was in court Wednesday, March 13 for his preliminary hearing.

During the hearing for Santonio Barksdale, 22, a Milwaukee Police Department detective testified, and a motion to dismiss the case by the defense was denied. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and Barksdale was bound over for trial. He pleaded not guilty. A scheduling conference was set for March 19.

Barksdale faces one count of armed robbery and one count of first degree recklessly endangering safety.

According to a criminal complaint, on that Friday evening around 7 p.m., officers responded to the Multani Food Market near 19th and Hampton for a shooting.

Santonio Barksdale

The 25-year-old victim identified Barksdale via a photo array, and said Barksdale entered the store, armed with a black handgun. Barksdale then said, “Give me all the money” before shooting the victim one time in the right leg. Barksdale then entered the “cash register room” through a door which was temporarily unlocked.

Data pix.

Santonio Barksdale

The victim said he gave Barksdale the money from the register, and Barksdale asked, "Where is the safe?" When the victim replied there was a safe, he said Barksdale shot him in the left leg.

Barksdale made his initial appearance in court on Wednesday, March 6. Probable cause was found for further proceedings. Cash bond was set at $50,000, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for March 13.

Online court records show Barksdale has an open case filed in January 2018 in which he was charged with misdemeanor battery (domestic abuse assessments) and misdemeanor disorderly conduct (domestic abuse assessments, use of a dangerous weapon). A bench warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court on Feb. 28. He appeared in court in that case on Wednesday as well. Cash bond was set at $1,000. A jury trial was scheduled for April 1.

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