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Community gathers at vigil for fallen MPD officer Michael Michalski

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 23:21:01-04

The community honored fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Michalski at a vigil Monday night in the neighborhood where Michalski was shot. 

Michalski died July 25 after a shootout with a suspect wanted on drug and domestic violence charges. 

Dozens of people, including citizens, community leaders and friends of the fallen officer gathered near 28th and Wright to honor Michalski and the department as a whole. 

"Let's use Officer Michalski and honor him to build a relationship between the community and the police department," said Ald. Russell Stamper, who oversees the district where the shooting happened. 

Before the vigil, citizens were encouraged to hug an officer in the crowd, a show of love for a grieving department. 

"We had a department who was fortunate enough to go 22 years without an officer death in the line of the duty," said Pastor Alexis Twito, with the Salvation Army Chaplaincy Program. "That was a real blessing. To come together so soon is really difficult." 

Michalski is the second Milwaukee Officer to die in the line of duty in less than two months. Officer Charles Irvine Jr. died in June after a squad car crash near 76th and Silver Spring. 

Dawn Yager, a friend of Michalski's since high school says she's at peace knowing he was a man of faith, and he's now in a better place. 

"Every time I saw something on the news with Milwaukee Police officers, I would think is that Mike? And this time it was," she said. "You know what would Mike say? He would want us to pray for these people and even the man that shot him. That's huge."