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Burger King worker fired gun during fatal attempted robbery, complaint states

Police continue to seek Derrick D. Ellis
Posted at 6:15 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 13:27:09-05

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office issued criminal charges against a man in connection to the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Niesha Harris Brazell at the Burger King on Capitol Drive last Sunday.

According to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD), criminal charges have been issued against Derrick D. Ellis, who was also an employee of Burger King. Police say he was armed with a firearm and engaged an armed robbery suspect. He is not the person shown in surveillance video wearing a red hoodie.

During the confrontation, Ellis' coworker, Brazell, was struck by gunfire, which caused her death.

Ellis is a convicted felon and cannot possess a firearm, police say.

According to a criminal complaint, Burger King had just closed when the shooting occurred. The complaint states Ellis allegedly fired shots at a man who was attempting to rob the cashier through the drive-thru window.

Video footage allegedly showed that after the shooting, Ellis crawled on the floor collecting fired casings. Ellis then allegedly met with the restaurant manager, who allegedly opened a safe in the office, and Ellis placed a "white object into the safe."

The restaurant manager allegedly told police she has known Ellis for years and that he carries his gun with him while he is at work. After the shooting, Ellis allegedly asked her to hide the gun in the safe because he was a felon and could not possess it.

According to the complaint, the restaurant manager opened the safe for police and they found a white .380 caliber pistol.

Ellis was charged with one count of Possession of a Firearm by Outstate Felon. If convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison and could be fined up to $25,000.

Ellis fled the scene. Police are continuing to look for him. They are also seeking an unknown armed robbery suspect.

The unknown armed robbery suspect is described by police as the following:

  • African American male
  • Heavy build
  • Last seen wearing: red hooded sweatshirt and tan pants
  • Armed with a handgun
  • Driving a black 4-door Chevy Impala with a sunroof and spoiler on the back
The suspect, according to MPD.

If you have any information please contact the Milwaukee Police Department at (414) 935-7360 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS or P3 Tips App.

"My baby gonna get justice, the God that I serve is going to be sure of that," Niesha's mother Liceal Brazell said. "Pulling out a gun and just start shooting, that’s not even logical. Why do you have a gun at Burger King inside and you’re a worker?"

Milwaukee police also arrested a 38-year-old woman for obstructing the investigation.

MPD said in a statement the Milwaukee woman was arrested for obstructing during the investigation.

MPD added they do not believe charges will be filed Thursday against the woman who was arrested.

At a vigil for Brazell on Monday night, a family member said they want the community to help find the suspect.

"If it was your momma, your daddy, your sister, your niece, your grandma you’d want whoever knows something to speak up" said a woman who identified herself as the teen's aunt.

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