MILWAUKEE (AP) — A Milwaukee police officer was shot and wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a man who was initially found slumped over the wheel of a vehicle, the third shooting of a law enforcement officer in the city in two weeks.
The officer was called to the city’s Menomonee Valley neighborhood about 6:30 p.m. Thursday to check on a person in a vehicle who was sick or injured, Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said.
The man in the vehicle attempted to flee and produced a gun, police said.
The officer and the 22-year-old man exchanged gunfire, police said, and both were struck. The officer was hospitalized with wounds that were not believed to be life-threatening, authorities said.
After an exchange of gunfire, the suspect entered the wounded officer’s squad car and fled, Norman said.
The man crashed into another vehicle, ran away and was later captured by police. He and the person in the vehicle he crashed into were taken to the hospital for treatment, Norman said.
Names of those involved weren’t immediately released. The officer is 26 years old with over seven years of service.
It was the second shooting of a law enforcement officer in two days in the city and the third in two weeks. Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Deputy Christian Almonte was shot on Wednesday. Almonte, 26, was released from a hospital Thursday after being treated for multiple gunshot wounds.
A 19-year-old man, who later killed himself, shot at Almonte as officers searched a Milwaukee neighborhood following a traffic stop, authorities said. Almonte was struck in both arms and his torso.
On Jan. 13, an off-duty Milwaukee police detective was shot and wounded when he intervened in an attempted robbery in the city’s Third Ward.
Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson, speaking at a police briefing Thursday night, railed against people’s access to guns.
“There are too many people, in this community, who have too easy access to guns who should not have them in the first place … I need for this community to wake up to the issue of gun violence,” he said.
The Milwaukee Police Department Homicide Division is leading the investigation into Thursday’s shooting. The officer will be placed on administrative duty, per policy. Criminal charges against the 22-year-old will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in the coming days.