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Prosecutors: Man charged in gas station gun battle ‘felt threatened’ by victim with BB gun

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Maurice Singleton

MILWAUKEE -- A gas station gun battle left two people hurt at the BP gas station near 35th and McKinley in Milwaukee March 25, and it was all caught on camera. Prosecutors said one victim indicated the suspect owed her money from a drug debt.

"It's unfortunate, but it's the neighborhood we live in," said Marques Chambers of Milwaukee.

Maurice Singleton, 30, of Milwaukee faces the following charges:

  • First degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon, as party to a crime -- two counts
  • Possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony

According to a criminal complaint, on March 25, police were dispatched to a shooting near 35th and McKinley -- where they found two victims. One was shot in the knee, and the other was shot in the lower leg and suffered broken bones. Neither could identify the shooter, though one victim said she had been "having troubles" with an individual by the nickname Oshea, who owed her money from a drug debt.

Shooting incident caught on camera near 35th and McKinley

Shooting incident caught on camera near 35th and McKinley

Police were able to obtain surveillance video from the gas station where the shooting happened -- which showed almost the entire incident. The shooting happened just before 11 p.m. on March 25. Before that, the two shooting victims and two others were inside an SUV that had pulled into the gas station and parked, with one of the shooting victims -- a man -- exiting the vehicle. Soon, two masked men approached the vehicle -- getting the second shooting victim -- a woman --  out of the vehicle -- pulling her away from the vehicle. That victim went to the ground and curled into a ball. The video showed the masked men began pulling at her clothing, and seemed to be going through her pockets. The male shooting victim returned to the vehicle and briefly confronted the masked men before retrieving a rifle-style BB gun from the passenger seat -- confronting the men again. The male victim retreated to the back end of his vehicle -- as both masked men had guns and began to fire in his direction. He was struck in the knee. The complaint said the masked men continued firing as they retreated -- and the female victim ran after them. She was shot in the leg as she chased them. The complaint noted she told police she was intoxicated, and wasn't sure why she ran after them.

Shooting incident caught on camera near 35th and McKinley

Shooting incident caught on camera near 35th and McKinley

The complaint said in at least two interviews with police, the woman said no property had been taken, but later said cocaine and cash were taken.

Police believe someone in the SUV tipped Singleton off to come to the gas station that night. He told police a friend in that SUV wanted him there "to talk."

Police were contacted by an individual who said she heard and saw one of the people who was present during the shooting talking to an individual known as "Oshea" about the incident. She said the person who was present during the shooting was asking her about her "cut" from the incident. It was learned the masked men had used a van registered to an address near 43rd and Vliet.

Shooting incident caught on camera near 35th and McKinley

Shooting near 35th and McKinley

At that location, the complaint said Maurice Singleton ran out the back door. He was taken into custody on a parole hold.

The complaint said Singleton told investigators he and another person went to the gas station to meet a woman and they "brought guns because he did not know what the outcome of the situation was going to be." He said they also had ski masks. He said he "put the guns in play because they felt threatened by (the victim) and felt his life was in jeopardy." He said he did not get away with drugs, but did say he "picked up a few dollars from the ground," and "did not know why he did it." He said he ran and fired back toward the victims because he thought one of the victims was going to run after them with a handgun.

The complaint noted Singleton has the name "Oshea" tattooed on his arm.

According to the complaint, Singleton was convicted of armed robbery with threat of force in 2013. He was sentenced to 54 months.

He made his initial appearance in court in the latest case on March 30. A preliminary hearing was set for April 8, and cash bond was set at $25,000.

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