Fatal shooting involving teen ruled self-defense

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 08:32:42-05

MILWAUKEE -- A woman and two teens have been cleared for murder after the Milwaukee's DA office declared a fatal shooting at 10th Street and Lincoln Avenue last week as “justifiable as self-defense.”

We all thought it was the second homicide of the New Year. Police had arrested two 14-year-old teens and a 33-year-old woman in connection to the shooting.

One week after, Shadia Morales-Cruz, who was arrested and spent five days in jail, wants everyone to know what she tells authorities happened.

“All our names are cleared out of this mess. I’m so relieved. I finally see light at the end of the tunnel,” Morales-Cruz said.

Morales-Cruz arrived at the juvenile detention center in Wauwatosa on Monday to pick up the accused shooter, a 14-year-old boy, who she said calls her mom. Because both teens involved are minors, TMJ4 is not using their names.

Morales-Cruz said she was picking the two teens up when the victim appeared out of nowhere.

“He knocks on my back window. Smacks right into it. They scream he’s got a gun. He’s got a gun. I’m unaware who he is, or where he came from. I step out of the car. He’s already on the floor, struggling with the gun. Next thing you know one shot goes – bam!" she said.

Milwaukee police identified the victim as 40-year-old Michael Shafrik of New Berlin. Shadia claims to have never met him before. After being released from jail on Saturday, she learned that the victim is the stepfather of a boy who knows her son’s friend. She remembers the victim’s son appeared at 10th and Lincoln moments after the shooting. 

“They were all asking for the gun," Morales-Cruz said. "So apparently they knew who this person was and what he was doing there and what his intentions were."

Police reports show that the victim’s son claimed that one of the 14-year-old boys had a confrontation prior to the shooting and he allegedly threatened the victim’s wife with a knife.

Cruz said she doesn't know if that is true or how the victim knew she would be picking up her son and his friend at about 4:30 p.m. at that intersection. What she does know, she said, is that the man shot himself during the struggle.  

“All this was all self-defense from a stranger that came at us with a gun," she said.