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Shake Shack responds to Third Ward shooting, witness says suspect fired gun while running away

Off-duty officer shot at Shake Shack
Posted at 4:19 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 18:54:43-05

MILWAUKEE — Workers were back inside the Third Ward Shake Shack on Friday, but the restaurant was closed after a Milwaukee Police detective was shot trying to stop a robbery.

The Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) said there was an exchange of gunfire between the off-duty detective and a suspect. One of the bullets hit a window to a salon across the street. A staff member at the salon says everyone who was there is okay.

Gabrielle Ledesma was working at an art shop across from Shake Shack at the time.

"I heard a shot like the first shot and then I see and hear three more shots. The guy, he's like holding the gun behind him while he's shooting, not really paying attention to where he's shooting it," Ledesma said, adding that cops soon swarmed the area.

"I saw the lady, I think it was her car, she was hiding behind the car and ran straight into Shake Shack. Then I saw all the employees in Shake Shack frantically coming over to I think the off-duty officer that got shot and bringing paper towels and stuff for him," Ledesma said.

Ledesma could not leave work until late Thursday. She said police told them the suspect ran down an alley where their parking lot is so they needed to make sure no one was hiding out in the area.

Shake Shack's area director Matthew Meyer issued a statement on Friday.

“We are deeply troubled by the events at the Third Ward Shack yesterday. We wish the victim of this terrible act a full and speedy recovery. The safety of our team and guests is our top priority, and violence has no place in our Shacks. We’re working closely with the authorities as they investigate this incident," the statement said.

Meanwhile, in a show of gratitude, community activist Tracey Dent and others delivered a cart full of snacks to Milwaukee Police including a cake that said: "Thank you hero."

"This is a way of the community saying thank you for standing up taking action," Dent said. "We need more officers like you that (are) able to step in and do what you did."

"I'm glad there was someone there to help because a lot of us didn't notice what was going on. Good to see that and try to stop it, but it's sad that he got shot," said Ledesma.

Milwaukee Police say the detective is stable. In a statement, MPD offered their thanks to all of the people and first responders who rushed to help the detective.

Shake Shack will reopen Saturday morning.

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