One person was killed and another was injured after a sheriff’s deputy in Milwaukee opened fire on a vehicle that was being pursued June 11 on North Lincoln Memorial Drive.
The two were identified as 19-year-old Terry Williams and 23-year-old Paula McEwen.
Williams, who was the driver of the vehicle, was shot in the head and had been on life support since the incident. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office said he was pronounced dead June 13.
McEwen was shot in her shoulder and is expected to survive, authorities said. The incident was caught on video by many down at the lakefront and remains under investigation.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Williams Was Shot by a Deputy After Fleeing Police & It Was Caught on Video
At a press conference held June 12, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said that a loaded 9mm handgun was recovered in Williams’ green Audi SUV after the shooting took place.
The reason law enforcement officers were pursuing the Audi in the first place was because, as Clarke said, the car failed to stop at a stop sign nearby. A deputy initiated a traffic stop, but Williams fled the scene and drove by hundreds of bystanders that were out on Milwaukee’s lakefront — June 11 was one of the hottest days of the year in the area.
Videos posted to social media by some of the bystanders showed the end of the incident and the aftermath. Williams’ vehicle is seen on the street approaching a stoplight as sheriff pursue him in their vehicles from behind with sirens blaring.
Williams attempts to go over a media to avoid traffic, and a deputy that was on foot runs up to the driver’s side of the car and fires into the window with what sounds to be at least eight gunshots.
Watch a video of the shooting incident below:
In the aftermath that followed, a passenger that is still unidentified by authorities, is dragged out of the backseat of the car by officers as McEwen is dragged to the ground. Williams appears to be motionless in the diver’s seat until EMTs appear more than 10 minutes later.
The EMTs take Williams, who is motionless on the ground, and place him on a stretcher, transporting him to a medical facility.
Clarke said at his press conference that Williams had a criminal history.
To watch additional videos from the chaotic scene, click the link below.
2. A Man Told Media That He Was Shot at by Williams 1 Day Before the Incident
A Milwaukee man who wished to remain anonymous claimed that a passenger in Williams’ vehicle shot at him one day before the June 11 incident. He said to Fox 6 Milwaukee that the day before Williams was shot by the sheriff’s deputy, he threatened him with a gun at a convenience store — JAD Foods — on 57th and Silver Spring Drive.
The man said that he chose to ignore Williams after hearing him make comments about his car in the parking lot of the store, which resulted in the 19-year-old threatening him.
Watch the interview below:
The man alleged that Williams opened up his door at the convenience store and showed him a “long assault rifle.” After he did so, the man said that he pulled out his own handgun, saying “don’t do it,” and “I’m not afraid to use it.”
A photo posted to Facebook by user Patrick Gilboy appears to show surveillance footage of a male outside of a green Audi — similar to the one in the June 11 incident — holding what looks to be a long-barreled gun looking in the direction of a mini-van.
The man said he exited the convenience store parking lot and was trailed by Williams in his car. He added that when he made a U-turn after traveling down the road a short while, a passenger in the car opened fire in the man’s direction. The man said he shot back in self defense with his handgun, and Williams fled the scene.
The man said he has been in contact with investigators in regard to the Williams incident, and his handgun has been taken away.
3. The Deputy Who Shot Williams Has Been Placed on Leave
The deputy who shot Williams in the head and McEwen in the shoulder was on foot patrol in the lakefront area June 11 when he saw another unit pursuing the Audi.
That deputy was identified by Clarke as 32-year-old Michael Truax. He was hired back in August 2016, and was put on administrative leave as a result of the incident, though it’s standard protocol to do so.
After Truax shot inside the Audi, the car swerved into the road and hit another car before coming to a halt.
Nearby Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department is in charge of the investigation, and Sheriff Eric Severson answered no questions at the press briefing. The reason the Waukesha County Sheriff is handling the investigation is because Wisconsin law requires an outside investigation for all officer-involved shootings.
“We are in the early phases of that investigation and I have no intention of discussing aspects of that investigation,” Severson said at the press conference while Clarke asked the public to remain “patient” as law enforcement reviews videos and interviews witnesses.
4. Community Members Held Gatherings In Support of Williams
One day after the shooting took place, members of the community gathered in the area nearby where Williams was shot by Truax. The small group joined each other in prayer and called for change at Bradford beach.
“We thank you for gathering us for such a time as this,” Markasa Tucker, who led the group in prayer, said, according to WTMJ 4 Milwaukee.
The people who organized the gathering said that they wanted to give people an opportunity to speak about how they felt after the incident.
“I don’t think the shooting should have happened,” Thomas Leonard said to WTMJ 4. “I know that there were people standing all around, young people that I serve, standing all around. I am tired, I am sickened. My heart is broken. I cried all morning. And then I bounced back and said, ‘OK, what’s next?”
Milwaukee County Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman was at the event and told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that it’s time for these types of things to stop happening so frequently. He added that he needs all appropriate information about the incident before deciding if other steps would need to be taken.
“This cannot happen again,” Wasserman, whose district includes the lakefront, said to the Milwaukee newspaper. “We have a whole summer to go, people want to enjoy our lakefront.”
5. Willams’ Shooting Comes Almost 1 Year After Sylville Smith Was Killed by Police
The shooting of Williams by a deputy comes less than one year after 23-year-old Sylville Smith was shot and killed by Milwaukee Police Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown. Both men were African-American, and Heaggan-Brown has been criminally charged in Smith’s death.
After the shooting, the Sherman Park neighborhood of Milwaukee saw massive riots that included a BP gas station being burned.
The riots lasted three days, and a curfew was issued for teenagers in the area. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker activated the National Guard in response to the incident, if needed.
Several people — including police officers — were injured, dozens of protesters were arrested and reporters and photographers covering the riots were attacked. One reporter was shoved to the ground and physically assaulted by demonstrators.