WAUWATOSA — Wauwatosa police say a police officer shot and injured a woman after she allegedly hit the officer's squad car and advanced on the officer with a wooden post late Thursday evening.
The subject, a 35-year-old woman, is now recovering in the hospital and is reportedly in stable condition, according to police.
The shooting led to a massive police response in Wauwatosa's downtown and prompted a number of protesters into the streets, who criticized the Wauwatosa Police Department.
Late Thursday night, the police department announced that one of its officers had shot a person, and by Friday morning the department identified the person shot as a woman.
By late Friday afternoon, the police department released a more detailed statement regarding the shooting. The department identified the woman who was shot as a subject, and did not release her name.
In the statement, the department wrote: "We understand that any use of force can be concerning to our citizens. Police officers train to control individuals with the least amount of force necessary. Any time there is an officer involved shooting, we understand the community has many concerns. No police officer wants this to happen."
Police then released details on the incident. WPD says that around 9:15 p.m., officers responded to a report of an assault in the 7900 block of Harwood Avenue. A 911 caller said they witnessed a woman "violently attacking" another woman with a stick. A preliminary investigation found that the victim in that incident was unknown to the suspect. It called it "a random and unprovoked attack."
Following that incident, the subject left the area and was last seen walking eastbound on Harwood Avenue, according to police.
A 23-year-old female officer, with nine months of experience with the department, soon located the subject in the area of Underwood and Harmonee avenues. Police say the subject "immediately ran up to the officer’s police vehicle and began striking the windshield with a wooden post."
When confronted by the officer, police say, the subject refused to comply with the officer's commands. The subject then advanced on the officer with the post, according to police.
That is when the "officer was forced to shoot the subject," WPD says.
"Despite being shot, the subject continued her aggressive and assaultive behavior, striking the police vehicle with the wooden post numerous times," according to police.
A number of police officers were required to take the subject into custody.
TMJ4 News inquired with the police department if the responding police officer ever left her squad car when the subject allegedly advanced on her, prompted her to open fire. The department responded that "the investigation is still in its early stages and any further information will be released at a later time."
In the statement, police say officers began rendering aid until Wauwatosa fire personnel took over. The subject was brought to the hospital, where she underwent surgery and is reportedly in a stable condition.
The Milwaukee Area Investigative Team is now investigating the incident, led by West Allis police, in accordance with Wisconsin State Statute.
The officer who shot and injured the subject has been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy.