GREENFIELD — The victim in the random act of violence Tuesday in Greenfield has been identified as 49-year-old Ben Christianson of Madison.
Christianson's social media listed him as a project manager with Ramaker & Associates Inc. for the last 26 years. He was working in the area when he was the victim of the senseless act.
Police were called to the scene on South 60th and Armour Avenue in Greenfield just after noon Tuesday for reports of an "assault with an edged weapon," according to a news release. The victim was brought to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, and he later died.
Even a full day later, neighbors in the area are overwhelmed by what happened.
"You would think at noon, during the day, you wouldn't have to (worry)," Kathleen Radaj said. "You'd think more in the evening. It makes me feel like I need to be more alert."
A 19-year-old Greenfield man was arrested Tuesday afternoon as a person of interest and was determined to be the lone suspect in the attack. The motive remains unknown.
Neighbors who live near the suspect said they've seen him around but never thought he would be accused of something like this.
"I was very surprised," Ellene Sternlieb said. "I've seen this person around, very quiet, never bothered. He kept to himself basically."
Other neighbors said they have seen the 19-year-old get into other minor mischief around the apartment complex.
"My children were scared. We didn't know what was going on. That's even more scarier when you think about it and you have children you want to really protect. I would have never guessed because of how quiet he was. He kept to himself and didn't bother anybody." — resident Ellene Sternlieb
Surveillance video from one neighbor shows the alleged suspect vandalizing an SUV in the parking lot with a key. Another neighbor took photos of him using a sword in the apartment's courtyard. They said he waited until children were inside and never posed a threat to anyone, so they didn't think anything of it until now.
"I was scared," Sternlieb said. "My children were scared. We didn't know what was going on. That's even more scarier when you think about it and you have children you want to really protect. I would have never guessed because of how quiet he was. He kept to himself and didn't bother anybody."
Police are asking any individuals who may have witnessed the incident to contact police as this is an ongoing investigation. If you live in the area and have a home surveillance system, please check your video for anything that may be of evidential value.
No other information will be released, pending the review of formal charges with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office. Greenfield Police said they expect charges to be filed by the end of the week.