‘They going to have to shoot me:’ MPD releases video from officer-involved shooting near 84th and Congress

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MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police on Tuesday, July 23 released body camera video from an officer-involved shooting that happened on June 8 near 84th and Congress.

Javon Lewis, 34, was shot and wounded when police responded to a domestic violence call on that Saturday. A witness said officers took Lewis into custody, and he broke free. That's when the witness said he pulled out a gun and started shooting. A criminal complaint said officers fired back at Lewis and struck him.

Lewis, out on parole at the time, was charged with the following in the wake of the shooting:

  • Attempted first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon (two counts)
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon
  • Strangulation and suffocation, use a dangerous weapon
  • Misdemeanor battery

Lewis pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on July 2. A jury trial was scheduled to begin on Sept. 30.

The complaint said officers responded to the area near 84th and Congress around 6 p.m. June 8 for a domestic violence investigation. They spoke with a man and woman, and asked the man if he was involved. The complaint said the man claimed he was a neighbor and began walking away. He was ordered to stop, but began running -- with an officer chasing him.

According to the complaint, the man then pulled a pistol, stopped, turned, and raised it toward officers, firing multiple shots.

An officer returned fire, striking the man in the shoulder, causing him to fall to the ground. He was then handcuffed -- and identified as Lewis.

Shooting near 84th and Congress

Officer-involved shooting near 84th and CongressThe complaint said a Smith & Wesson 9mm semi-automatic firearm was recovered at the scene, containing 12 unspent cartridges in the magazine and one in the chamber. Four 9mm spent casings were recovered from the scene, along with nine spent .40 caliber casings. The complaint said one of the shots hit an officer's holster on his waist. Another went through a window at a nearby apartment building.

Before the shooting, the complaint said the domestic violence incident involved a woman who was being punched by Lewis, who was sitting on top of her, according to a witness. The witness tried to pull Lewis off, but the complaint said he told her she "better let him go, or this gun may go off." The witness advised she saw Lewis choking the woman until she began to pass out. The witness was told she needed to move before he shot them both. When told the police had been called, the complaint said Lewis said, "I'm going to shoot her, and they going to have to shoot me."

The victim said the physical fight followed an argument about her vehicle.

The complaint against Lewis noted he was convicted of first degree reckless homicide in November 2001. He was sentenced to five years in prison and 44 years' extended supervision. He was 15 years old when he shot and killed a 38-year-old man.

The officer who fired in the officer-involved shooting was a 32-year-old man -- a four-year veteran of the force. He was placed on administrative duty, per standard procedure.

No officers were hurt in the incident.

The body camera video was release as part of MPD's "Community Briefing video series," created by MPD "to promote transparency and accountability with the public and to provide relevant information about officer-involved shootings within 45 days of the incident."

Below is the video shared by Milwaukee police. WARNING: The video is graphic, and not suitable for all viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.

As of Tuesday, investigators were still reviewing this incident to determine whether officers followed training and use-of-force guidelines.

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