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Milwaukee woman says south side shooting victim "died in my arms"

Posted at 5:34 PM, Aug 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 08:50:12-04

MILWAUKEE -- It's no secret August has been a deadly month in Milwaukee. However, for a South Side neighborhood, they were surprised the shooting happened in their apartment building.

A 21-year-old man was killed near 37th & Oklahoma Saturday. Neighbors say they heard a commotion before shots were fired. 

"I heard like two gunshots," Derek Osborne said. "It sounded like a door slamming. That's what I thought it was at first."

Osborne says he heard some arguing but decided not to intervene. However, he was shocked to hear shots were fired in his apartment building. He was even more surprised when he looked out his front door after police asked him what happened. 

"This was just blood all over the place," Osborne said. "Big pile of blood."

Just before he saw the scene, another neighbor was in the middle of the immediate aftermath of a shooting. Julia Creamean was visiting her sister when they heard the argument.

"We heard people wrestling, like fighting or something," Cremean said. "We heard kind of like a pop. We thought that was the gunshot."

Her sister looked out her apartment door's peephole and saw someone laying on the ground.

"We heard a guy gasping," Cremean said. "Something very obviously was wrong. There was blood everywhere. All over the floor, all over the walls, all over the front door. I've never seen that much blood before."

Cremean's sister quickly dialed 911 to get help. Julia got a towel and went to the man's side. 

"He was bleeding out of his throat at a dangerously quick rate," Cremean said. "I ran inside, got a towel so I could apply pressure."

She says in less than five minutes, emergency crews got there. She says she could feel how nervous the man was about what was happening. He couldn't speak, but she did her best to try and keep him calm. 

"About two minutes later he stopped moving," Cremean said. "He stopped breathing and he stopped blinking. The paramedics showed up about two minutes later and they were unable to revive him. I told him I don't know him but I'm here and I'll do anything I can to help him. He doesn't deserve this pain. I tried to give him comfort."

Cremean couldn't sleep after what had happened. It took her until well into Sunday morning to get a little bit of sleep. Sunday afternoon, she was still shaken about what she had witnessed. 

"I'm heartbroken," Cremean said. "That's a human life. He was only 21. He's younger than my older sister is. My partner is only 20. He's only a year older than my partner. I'm 19. That's two years older than me. That's so young to die in such a horrific way. It's heartbreaking. I have peace in knowing I did everything I could but it doesn't take away the weight of what happened."

It's a reality Creamean is learning to deal with. 

"I've lost people but I've never actually been in a situation like this where I had to fast act," she said.

"I've never seen that much blood before. I've never seen somebody die right in front of me or in my arms or anything. Even the investigator told my sister and me, we did everything we could but some wounds are too harsh to be able to be taken care of and some people just can't make it. Honestly, he said he's never seen anything like this before and we acted the best we could. I'm trying to have some peace in that."