The Wauwatosa Police Department has seen its fair share of violent encounters in the last year — from a shooting injury sustained by Detective Jeffrey Griffin in June to an officer-involved shooting in August that left 29-year-old Antonio Gonzales dead after he threatened officers with a sword.
On Monday night, a 34-year-old man was shot by police after reportedly attacking a police supervisor with a knife, inflicting injuries to his hands, and at the same location, a 32-year-old woman was found dead in the snow beneath a balcony, said Police Chief Barry Weber in a press conference Tuesday.
Police described the situation as complex.
Police responded to a 911 call from the Normandy Village Apartment complex in the 2500 block of North 124th Street at about 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 11.
The caller reported hearing commotion coming from the apartment, including a woman yelling and screaming, Weber said.
Two officers were dispatched to the residence and located the apartment where the domestic disturbance appeared to be occurring, Weber said. Shortly after officers were on the scene, a tenant reported seeing someone jump off an outside balcony.
The officers engaged in a foot pursuit throughout the apartment complex property with a male suspect, and additional squads were called to the scene. A “violent physical struggle” ensued after officers caught up with the male suspect just east of North 124th Street.
The suspect brandished a “kitchen-type” knife and repeatedly slashed and stabbed at a supervising officer, Weber said. Two of the other officers on scene fired their service weapons at the man, each firing one round. Both hit the man.
Officers on the scene immediately performed lifesaving measures on the suspect until paramedics arrived. The man was transported to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee.
Police have not named the suspect as he hasn’t been charged yet, said Wauwatosa public information Officer Brian Zalewski.
The 50-year-old supervising officer — a 15-year veteran of the Wauwatosa Police Department — suffered injuries to his hands and has since been released from the hospital, Weber reported Tuesday. His injuries are not life-threatening, he said.
The other officers involved in the incident included a 36-year-old officer and a 31-year-old officer, both with five years of law enforcement experience, Weber said. The involved officers have been placed on administrative leave, which aligns with department protocol after a police-involved shooting.
ABOVE: City of Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber enters a press conference on Tuesday to answer questions from the media regarding a death and an officer-involved shooting.
As of Tuesday morning, Weber said the male suspect was still alive, but his exact condition was unknown.
The Milwaukee Police Department will conduct the investigation on the officer-involved shooting and on what is to believed an attempted homicide on the supervising officer, Weber said.
Officers did not locate anyone inside the apartment, but an unresponsive 32-year-old female was found in the snow below a balcony. Weber said it has not been confirmed if the woman was the subject of the earlier report of a person seen jumping off the balcony.
Paramedics attempted to treat the woman, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Weber said he was told that she did not seem to have any visible injuries, he said.
The Milwaukee County medical examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy on the woman. The results of the autopsy could determine whether the woman’s death should be investigated as a homicide, Weber said.
Police believe both the woman and the male suspect resided at the apartment complex, but their relation to each other is unknown, Weber said.
“Wauwatosa police have always been able to respond appropriately when we need to,” Weber said. “I think what’s going on with law enforcement around the country, it’s a difficult place to be, but that doesn’t mean our officers act any less professionally or any less concerned, so I’m very proud of them.”