MILWAUKEE -- Charges were filed Friday, Aug. 23 against Jamon Washington, 23, of Milwaukee, facing one count of first degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon for the shooting death of Maurice Grimes, 18. Grimes was shot and killed on Aug. 14, and prosecutors said it was retaliation -- with Washington believing Grimes was responsible for a burglary at his home six days before the shooting at 7th and Pierce.
From a young age, Maurice Grimes loved learning how cars worked.
"He would always take things apart and try to figure out how to put it together," said Laporche Kimber, Grimes' mother. "He was accomplishing his goals, making himself to be everything he wanted himself to be. He wanted to prove to everyone he can be a man without being out on the streets."
Since Aug. 14, Kimber and police worked to piece together how and why Grimes died in a car near 7th and Pierce.
"The justice system can't bring me full closure," said Kimber. "It can't bring my son back."
Police responded to the scene around 9:30 p.m., where they were flagged down by a citizen who said there was a gunshot victim in a vehicle. Maurice Grimes was found shot in the head in the driver's seat of a vehicle -- and pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy revealed he suffered a single gunshot wound to the head, and his death was ruled a homicide.
Surveillance video showed a large, dark truck with no license plates in the vicinity around 8 p.m. The video showed the truck parked in an alley between Pierce and Bruce, and a man was seen walking away from where the truck was parked -- waiting under the freeway overpass. Grimes arrived about 10 minutes later, the video showed -- parking where he was later found shot to death.
The criminal complaint said the video showed the man who had been waiting under the freeway overpass entered Grimes' vehicle, and two minutes after Grimes arrived, the complaint said a muzzle flash was seen through the front windshield of the vehicle. The man who entered Grimes video then ran to his truck, the video showed.
According to the complaint, a photo of that truck was posted to Grimes' social media account, and an investigation revealed the driver had been ticketed on Aug. 13, the day before the shooting, for parking on the street in front of a home near Whitnall Avenue and Morgan Avenue.
"Maurice does sell cars on social media -- word of mouth," said Kimber.
An investigation into calls for police service in that area revealed on Aug. 8, Jamon Washington called to report a burglary -- and told police he suspected Grimes was responsible. Washington called police again from the Whitnall Avenue home on Aug. 11, and said he found a road flare in the rear of his truck that he believed was a stick of dynamite. An investigation revealed the truck from the police reports and body camera video from this response was the same truck at the scene when Grimes was shot and killed.
That truck was outside the Whitnall Street home on Aug. 18, when Washington was arrested in connection with the homicide involving Grimes.
Investigators spoke with the landlord of the Whitnall Street home, who identified the truck as Washington's, and said he spoke with Washington on Aug. 17, and asked whether any progress had been made relating to the Aug. 8 burglary. The landlord said Washington advised that the person he suspected of committing the burglary had been murdered. The landlord said he responded by telling Washington, "Dude, you're a suspect now," and Washington advised he'd been in Ohio for his father's funeral when the murder occurred.
Investigators traveled to Illinois and found Washington's father -- very much alive. The complaint said there was no funeral involving Washington's family on the day of the murder of Maurice Grimes.
A search warrant was executed on the truck the next day. The complaint said police found clothing consistent with what was worn by the shooter at the homicide scene, and human blood was found on a sweatshirt. That blood was sent to the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory for analysis.
The complaint said Washington was caught on camera at his home around 8:30 p.m. on the day of the shooting, carrying a black plastic garbage bag that the blood-stained sweatshirt was later found in.
"It shouldn't have been to the point where you had to take his life," said Kimber. "I believe there's a piece to this puzzle that is missing, but I'm glad they do have the shooter."
Washington made his initial appearance in court on Saturday, Aug. 24. Cash bond was set at $100,000, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Sept. 3.