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"A part of my son is still here": Milwaukee tattoo artist shot and killed outside family home

Posted at 6:10 AM, Sep 09, 2019

MILWAUKEE — The father of a young Milwaukee tattoo artist says his family witnessed his son's violent death on their porch Saturday afternoon.

Howard Harris says his 23-year-old son, Demetrius Holmes, was the victim in a shooting Milwaukee Police say happened on the 2400 block of N. 28th street around 4:30 Saturday. Police have not identified the victim and say they are working to identify suspects they believe are involved.

"He was a bright kid, had a bright future ahead of him, he was loving, kind," Harris said.

Harris says Holmes's artistic talents shined through his tattoo creations, some of which Harris has on his own body. He said Holmes was always drawing since a young age.

"When he picked up his first tattoo gun that I know of in 2012 is when he found his niche, and he found what he loved to do," Harris said.

On Saturday, Harris said his wife, his mother and other young sons were all sitting together on the porch when gunfire erupted.

"When he got shot he was sitting between my mom's legs," Harris said. "They walked up through gangways and just started shooting."

On Sunday, friends gathered outside Luxury Tattoo on Appleton Avenue, that's where Odis Turner said he got his tattoo from Holmes the day before he died.

"That's my first tattoo, by him, and I'd just like to say, rest in peace, Meech," Turner said.

Santasha Pruett said she was hanging out with Holmes hours before he died.

"My last words to him was be safe," Pruett said.

Harris says Holmes leaves behind a son and a big family that will always remember him. And he believes Holmes will live on through his art.

"A part of my son is still here," Harris said. "Every time I look around at someone's artwork, he tattooed our whole family, he was the family tattoo artist. We didn't go to nobody else, it was Nook. So every time I look at people's artwork, I see my son."