Jul 28, 2014
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UPDATE: Man Arrested for Shooting at Highlands Burglary Suspect

Officers chase suspect from Highlands into Washington Heights, where he scales a fence and interrupts a backyard party, drawing gunfire from an armed guest, who is now also under arrest.

UPDATE: Man Arrested for Shooting at Highlands Burglary Suspect

By Jim Price for Patch; WISN 12 News reporter Nick Bohr contributed to this report:

A 45-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested after firing shots while chasing an 18-year-old burglary suspect in the 1600 block of North 59th Street shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Milwaukee man first fired rounds when the suspect entered his back yard while running from Wauwatosa police officers, according to a Milwaukee Police Department spokesman.

He then continued to fire shots while chasing the suspect into another yard, said MPD Lt. Mark Stanmeyer in a statement obtained by Patch’s media partners at WISN 12 News.

Milwaukee police expect to seek charges against the citizen through the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office but did not suggest what those charges might be.

Wauwatosa police arrested the 18-year-old burglary suspect after they chased him from the Washington Highlands into Milwaukee’s Washington Heights, where the citizen opened fire on the fleeing man, prompting his surrender.

Tosa police say the teenager is also a suspect in multiple other burglaries in the Washington Highlands area.

How it went down

According to citizen accounts now confirmed by both the Wauwatosa and Milwaukee police, the burglary suspect was spotted in the Highlands and led officers on a foot chase heading east.    

Just into Milwaukee, in the area of Washington Boulevard and North 59th Street, the suspect jumped a backyard fence. He found himself an unwelcome guest at a patio party at the residence, and one of the guests opened fire on him with a pistol.

The armed citizen fired four shots, according to accounts, missing the suspect but putting him in such fear for his life he immediately surrendered to police. The citizen was said to have a valid concealed carry permit.

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Wauwatosa Police Capt. Jeffrey Sutter confirmed that account of the incident was “reasonably accurate” and said the man arrested was a suspect in a number of recent burglaries in the Highlands and surrounding area.

On June 30 and July 14, both Sundays, as was this incident, homes in the Highlands were entered through unlocked doors while residents were home, and their cars were stolen when the burglar found the keys in their kitchens.

In the July 14 incident, a purse and contents and two cell phones were also stolen from the kitchen.

"As someone whose garage has been broken into, and bicycles and other belongings burglarized, I couldn’t be happier that this guy has finally been caught," said Highlands resident Maureen Mack. "I am grateful to my neighbors for being alert.

"Speaking as a private citizen, I hesitate to applaud the acts of the homeowner who fired the shots; this could have easily ended up in bloodshed of an innocent. Generally, looking down the barrel of a gun is enough to give someone pause."

There have been many other burglaries recently in the Highlands and adjoining neighborhoods, as well as several further south in the Jacobus Park neighborhood.

Police have not said as yet how many of those burglaries they believe could be associated with the suspect arrested Sunday night, but they specified that he was likely involved in at least some of the Highlands crimes.

Wauwatosa Patch will update the story as more details become available.    

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