Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has decided not to criminalize three police officers who shot dead an armed man outside a gas station in August.
The three Milwaukee cops were justified in shooting Broderick “Baldie” Shelton Jr. on Aug. 16 outside a gas station in the 2500 block of North 27th Street, Chisholm said in a letter to Police Chief Jeffrey on Friday. Norman.
Shelton’s family said he suffered from mental health issues and was well known in the neighborhood for spending time outside that gas station. According to a community activist, Shelton was generally considered a friendly person and was not known to carry a gun.
According to Chisholm’s report, Shelton took a semi-automatic pistol from a customer at the gas station and pointed it at people. When officers arrived and ordered him to drop him, he also pointed the gun at them and at another customer at a gas pump.
The result was a shootout between the police and Shelton, with 50 shots being fired between them. Shelton fired 16 bullets at officers – the whole magazine, according to the district attorney.
“I find the use of force by officers to be reasonable in all the circumstances and in line with their positive obligation to protect the lives of citizens at risk as well as their own lives in the performance of their duties,” Chisholm said in the letter.
According to the report:
A resident called the police to report that Shelton had taken the gun “on my hip” and was pointing it at people.
Shelton was standing with his back to the entrance to the convenience store with gun in hand when the three officers arrived on their bikes. The officers were Joshua Heder, Ryan Miller and David Bui.
According to the body camera video, the police shouted several orders to drop the gun.
Heder said he saw Shelton point his gun at a customer who got into his car at the pump. The customer then crawled out of his car and Heder yelled at Shelton to drop the gun.
Heder said Shelton lowered the pistol for a while, but raised it again and pointed it at the other two officers, Miller and Bui, laughing.
Heder said that at the time it seemed Shelton was focused on Miller and “now seemed to be ‘hitting a target”, “the report said.
Bui said he saw Shelton point the gun directly at him and then heard several shots. He said he didn’t know who fired first. Bui took a look from where he was hiding and saw that Shelton was still standing and holding the gun, so he fired as well.
“When asked why he fired Officer Bui, he said the subject had already pointed the gun at him and was not complying with orders to drop the gun. Officer Bui also believed that the subject had already shot him or his partners, “the report from Chisholm reads.
Bui said Shelton kept shooting in his direction. He said at one point that he thought he was hit, but he was not.
From his location, Heder said he saw Bui check for injuries and believed his partner had been shot.
Heder approached Shelton because he “knew the shooting was going on too long” and noticed that Shelton had gotten into a squatting or sitting position.
From this position, Heder said he saw Shelton firing several more shots at Bui and Miller. As Heder approached, one of the other two officers hit Shelton on the head and he dropped the gun.
According to investigators, Heder fired three shots, Bui seven and Miller 24.
“Officer Miller believed Shelton intended to attempt to kill him or one of his fellow officers. Officer Miller believed he had no choice but to shoot his gun. gun to stop Shelton and in doing so he saw Shelton’s gun flash indicating Shelton was firing his gun at Officer Miller, ”the report states.
Shelton suffered three gunshot wounds: to the head, abdomen and elbow.
In addition to the customer near the gas pumps, two people were inside the gas station at the time of the shooting, according to the report.
Chisholm said the evidence and pictures “show a highly skilled and appropriately restrained response from the three officers.”
He argued that officers’ actions were appropriate under use of force laws, which allow lethal force when the officer believes it is necessary to prevent serious bodily harm or death.
“Mr. Shelton has a history of mental illness and there is no doubt that it contributed to his behavior, but tragically nothing in this encounter suggests that de-escalation was possible or appropriate in the circumstances,” Chisholm wrote. .
Shelton was one of three people killed by police in Milwaukee in a short time in August.
Kent Lovern, deputy district attorney, said the district attorney’s office has yet to make a decision on the two other police shootings that took place shortly after Shelton’s death, Tyrant C. Lamb on August 22; and Earl D. Lawhorn on August 26.