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Neighbors surprised the Milwaukee man shot by police had a gun; known to be a good guy

Posted at 9:36 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 19:26:01-04

MILWAUKEE — The 42-year-old man who was shot and killed by Milwaukee police officers Monday afternoon has been identified as Broderick E. Shelton.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office released Shelton's name and other demographic information Tuesday morning.

Bullet holes in a gas station window are what remains after a police-involved shooting took the life of Shelton in the 2500 block of North 27 Street around 4 p.m.

Neighbors and gas station customers say they didn't know him as a violent man.

"He was a good guy. He wasn't a danger to society," Charles Reed said.

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Reed told us he often talked to Shelton and he couldn't believe he had a gun. Other neighbors like Cheryl Smith felt the same way.

"He wasn't a man that had confrontation with anybody. I never seen him in an argument with anybody before," Smith said.

The gas station owner told us he saw on the surveillance camera Shelton shoot at police. Milwaukee police said they are still investigating whether that was the case.

Shelton has a lengthy criminal report ranging from illegal drug activity to carrying a concealed weapon and armed robbery.

His cousin told us he suffered from schizophrenia. We later learned he was staying at a Behavioral Health Facility up until a month ago.

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Rogers Behavioral Health Chief Medical Officer Jerry Halverson said people who suffer from mental illness can have a hard time understanding what's real.

"Schizophrenia in particular is a disease where the patient has a hard time differentiating reality vs. reality in their head," Halverson said.

He adds a high-stress environment can make things worse.

"Being with a police officer is very stressful, but when you have underlying mental illness that is in the middle of exacerbation, [that] can lead to a dangerous situation," Halverson said.

He said there is a way to help people with a mental illnesses.

"I think it's really important to have our public safety officials familiar with interacting with people with mental illness," he said.

The Wauwatosa Police Department is investigating the shooting.

Police say the first 911 caller reported a man with a gun and not a mental health incident.

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