MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man prosecutors said shot a 5-year-old girl following a road rage incident near 44th Street and Keefe Avenue in July 2019 pleaded no contest Monday, March 2.
Anthony Jenkins, 36, entered the plea to one count of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon, and one count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety. A third charge was dismissed.
Sentencing was scheduled for March 19.
The shooting on July 25 was captured by surveillance cameras. The video showed two vehicles that turned onto 44th Street. A green conversion van passed a silver sedan carrying the 5-year-old girl. Police said a preliminary investigation revealed words were exchanged between the drivers of the vehicles, before the shooter exited his vehicle and fired into the other vehicle, striking the 5-year-old girl, who was treated and released from the hospital. The video showed the silver sedan was pulling away when the van’s driver fired.
According to a criminal complaint, investigators spoke with the father of the 5-year-old girl, who was driving the silver sedan that day. He said he was coming home from Burger King, with his daughter in the back seat, when he noticed the green van tailgating him. He said he stopped his vehicle, and the van drove around him, and stopped near his driver’s side door. He said the driver, later identified as Jenkins, “began yelling (at him) about driving too slow.” He said Jenkins got out of his van and walked to the front of it, and the father noticed a handgun in his waistband. The father drove forward in an effort to get away from Jenkins, and Jenkins then pulled out the gun and began shooting.
The 5-year-old girl was struck in her left leg, and the vehicle was also hit, the complaint said.
The complaint said during the investigation, after looking at the surveillance video, police found a photo of a green Chevy Express van for sale on Facebook Marketplace — matching the van that was seen in the video. The complaint said the post was about one week old and showed the van’s license plate number. Investigators learned the van was registered to an individual living with Jenkins. Officers went to the address and arrested Jenkins. The complaint said he was wearing the same clothing seen in the surveillance video, and the handgun was in his waistband.
Investigators spoke with Jenkins, who said the vehicle containing the 5-year-old girl, a Chrysler 3000, “was going slow” and eventually “came to an abrupt stop.” He said when he heard someone yell from the Chrysler, he stopped his van. He said the driver of the Chrysler pulled alongside his van and “started to yell at him.” He said an argument ensued, and he told the other driver to pull over if he wanted to argue. He said the driver of the Chrysler was armed with a black, semi-automatic pistol. Jenkins said he got out of his van and said, “You gonna shoot me? Go — just go then.” He said he “never saw the little girl in the car.” He said when the Chrysler pulled away, he pulled out his pistol and fired. He said he wasn’t sure how many times he fired.
The shooting happened 12 days after the road rage killing of 3-year-old Brooklyn Harris, and on the same day the suspect in that case, Antonio Bratcher, appeared in court for his preliminary hearing — and pleaded not guilty.
Harris’ death followed the shooting deaths of three 5-year-old boys in Milwaukee in June.