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Teen charged in deadly shootout at McDonald's at 49th and Hampton

mcdonalds shooting
Posted at 10:30 AM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 11:30:50-04

MILWAUKEE — A 15-year-old Milwaukee teen is facing criminal charges after prosecutors say he fired the first shot that sparked a deadly shootout in a McDonald's in May.

Robert D. Johnson was charged with first-degree reckless homicide - as a party to a crime in Milwaukee County Court. A warrant was issued for his arrest on Wednesday. If found guilty he faces a maximum of 60 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Johnson was one of three teens shot inside a McDonald's near 49th and Hampton on May 7. The two other teens, identified as 16-year-old Javarius Fowler and 15-year-old William Harrison Jr., died following the shooting. Johnson went to the hospital in critical condition.

A criminal complaint released Thursday states police found one teen deceased in the walkway directly in front of the east side doors of the McDonald's. The other teen's body was found underneath a booth next to the west doors of the restaurant.

Police found Johnson between the west doors and the front counter. First responders brought him to Children's Hospital for treatment.

Prosecutors used surveillance video inside the McDonald's to piece together the deadly shooting.

Just after 3 p.m., Fowler entered the restaurant with three other teens and sat at a booth. Shortly afterward two other people including Johnson enter the McDonald's. They walk past the first teens. Johnson walks back to them, this time with a handgun in his hand.

Two more men then enter the restaurant, both armed with handguns.

Johnson then raises his gun to Fowler's head, which Fowler pushes away. Fowler then removes a handgun from his pants.

The complaint states shots are exchanged between the two teens. "It appears that the initial shot/shots is/are fired toward JF by Robert Johnson or WH and JF then shoots toward Robert Johnson and WH," referring to William Harrison.

Harrison collapsed under the booth, and Johnson collapsed next to the booth. Within seconds, the two armed men who entered later left the McDonald's. Fowler runs out the door but collapses between the doors, the complaint states.


William Harrison Jr.
William Harrison Jr.

Neighbors said they're still in shock after learning about the death of the 16-year-old.

One woman who lives just down the street said this hits too close to home.

"I have a grandson, he about to be 12, and it stung me just to hear that," she said.

Lynette Frazier lives on the same block with her 10-year-old daughter.

"It's frightening and it's scary. That's why we don't hardly come out here (because) we know how this block is. There's a lot of shooting going on," said Frazier.

She said a lot of teens hang out at the McDonald's, and it's not the first time there's been trouble there.

"I tell her [daughter], don't worry," said Frazier. "Her momma got her. But teenagers, you can't tell them what to do. They'll do what they want."

Community activist Vaun Mayers visited the McDonald's.

"Our women and our children are supposed to be off-limits," said Mayes. "We are just continually losing our young people, and it's unfortunate."

Web extra: Community activist Vaun Mayes talks about the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old at McDonald's over the weekend.

Social interview: 16-year-old killed after argument leads to shooting near 49th and Hampton

Mayes said he showed up to support the families affected by the violence. He said more needs to be done by local leaders.

"I would like to see all the leadership really and truly have an all-hands-on-deck approach," said Mayes. "Invite everyone that's trying to combat and address this violence at the table."

Another neighbor who lives close by said, unfortunately, he's not surprised to hear that another teen's life has been taken.

"It really didn't surprise me that he was only 16 years old, because this happens every day all over," he said.

This is why violence prevention activists have said it's critical to ensure shootings like this don't become the norm.

"We have to want to break these cycles and we have to encourage people to break these cycles and that's what we are going to do," said Mayes.

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