FRANKLIN — A 31-year-old Milwaukee man was shot and killed by law enforcement after he kidnapped a person, took police on a chase across the area and drew a firearm Friday morning, officials say.
At around 8 a.m., police say the suspect stole a vehicle and kidnapped the driver, driving the male victim to at least three stores along South 27th Street in Milwaukee and Franklin. At one of the stores, the victim reported to employees that he had been kidnapped, according to a joint statement from Oak Creek and Franklin police and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.
While at the second store, a Walmart in the 6700 block of 27th, a report emerged of an active shooter situation. Police say the active shooter aspect of the incident remains under investigation.
Police from Oak Creek, Franklin and Milwaukee converged on the Walmart. Police said it is believed as officers closed in, the suspect left the initial stolen vehicle and stole a second vehicle.
The suspect then led officers on a chase on southbound I-94 in which speeds exceeded 110 miles per hour. The suspect left the freeway at West Elm Road and continued northbound on 27th. The suspect crashed into the parking lot of a business at 27th and West Ryan Road in Franklin. The suspect then stole a third vehicle at gunpoint, according to police.
That is when the suspect "engaged in an armed confrontation" with an Oak Creek police officer at gunpoint, police said. The suspect continued the pursuit northbound, where he crashed into another vehicle at 27th and Sycamore. The suspect left the vehicle holding a gun, police said.
Police say he was engaged by four Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office deputies, one Franklin police officer and four Oak Creek police officers. The suspect was shot to death by the law enforcement officers, police said.
No deputies or officers were injured during the incident. Police say life-saving measures were attempted on the suspect. The deputies and officers involved are now on administrative leave per protocol for officer-involved shootings.
Authorities identified the suspect as a 31-year-old Milwaukee man.
The West Allis Police Department will be the lead agency investigating the incident.
All lanes of WIS 241 and 27th Street remain blocked in both directions between Rawson Avenue and College Avenue because of the incident.
Athanasios Almouti is the manager of a restaurant called Melrose, located down the street from the scene. He said he heard and saw squad cars flying down the street.
“There was many squads going this way, and that’s why we knew something serious was going,” said Athanasios.
Due to the massive scale of the investigation and blocked roadways, he said they are considering closing early. Other businesses located nearby did the same. Parking lots to Hobby Lobby, Wendy’s and Menards were empty.
Franklin residents who live near the scene said they heard a barrage of gunfire, some running inside their homes once shots were fired.
As authorities continue to piece together the crime scene, Athanasious said seeing violence in the city is concerning.
“It’s getting worse and worse every day, and it’s kind of not feeling safe at some point,” said Athanasious.
According to the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, there have been 14 officer-involved shootings in Wisconsin so far this year. Of those, 7 of them ended in fatalities.
The association told TMJ4 News, "It's worth noting that all of these incidents involved individuals that confronted officers with a weapon."
By this time in 2020, there had been 15 officer-involved shootings in the state, with all but two of them resulting in fatalities. All of the shootings by this time last year involved armed individuals, according to the WPPA.