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'I'm broke': Raw emotion spills over at vigil for Milwaukee 3-year-old killed in road rage shooting

Unidentified man's tearful comments call for peace
Posted at 4:37 PM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-16 17:20:24-04

MILWAUKEE — Powerful, raw emotion spilled over Saturday night at the vigil for a 3-year-old killed in a road rage shooting last weekend. An unidentified man wept while he spoke about the scene he saw following the shooting.

"They knew that baby was gone before they left, and it's just terrible man. I'm broke," the grief-stricken man said.

3-year-old Brooklyn Harris was shot and killed in a road rage incident Saturday morning near 42nd and Concordia in Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood. The man was walking to the gas station when he witnessed the aftermath of the shooting.

According to Reggie Moore, the Director of the City's Office of Violence Prevention, they have since reached out to the man to offer resources following the incident.

TODAY'S TMJ4 Photojournalist Gideon Verdin-Williams noticed the man sitting in the park with his head in his hands before the vigil began.

As a photojournalist, he says he never knows what to expect when he approaches a scene, but he's sadly familiar with this one—Verdin-Williams lives blocks from where 3-year-old Brooklyn Harris was killed Saturday.

"I saw a lot of people I knew," he said. "I'm sure I've crossed paths with the mother before."

Vigils are all too common as communities grieve deaths caused by shootings and reckless driving. Verdin-Williams notes the importance of vigils in communities, as they are often the only time for neighbors to come forward and express their emotions.

"I could just hear the pain in his voice," Verdin-Williams said. "This is a grown man profusely crying, and you don't see that very often."

After the camera stopped filming, community members reached out to hug and comfort the grieving man, according to Verdin-Williams.

"It's like your neighborhood is a mini-war zone and you're a war reporter. But I know all these people. They recognize me. I don't know if I have found a way to put this into words," he said.