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Milwaukee Police Officer Shot And Killed, Suspect In Custody

Michelle Maternowski


The Milwaukee police officer who was shot and killed Wednesday night has been identified as 52-year-old Michael Michalski. He was a husband, father of three, and a veteran of the department, said Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales at a press conference Thursday.

On Wednesday, officers from the department's special investigations division confronted a man wanted for violating parole, possessing heroin and domestic-related offenses. Morales said the man ran into a home, officers followed and were met with gunfire. Officers returned fire, but the suspect was not hit. Officer Michalski was struck in the exchange of gunfire and later died. 

Morales added the suspect was arrested after he ran out of ammunition. The suspect is described as having a lengthy juvenile and adult criminal record. 

Original story:

Milwaukee police say a 17-year veteran of the department was shot and killed near N. 28th St. and W. Meinecke Ave. in the city's Metcalfe Park neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, and that a suspect is in custody. 

The call came in around 5 p.m. that an officer was down. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales says the officer went to the neighborhood to question somebody who was wanted on drug and gun offenses. He caught up with the person at a home, and then the suspect opened fire. 

The officer was taken to Froedtert Hospital, where he later died. The suspect was arrested near the scene shortly after the shooting.  The fallen officer's name is expected to be released Thursday.

Dozens of people from the neighborhood poured into the streets, talking to each other and wondering what happened. Dozens of police officers also stood nearby.

Then, Chief Morales arrived on the scene and delivered the news that the officer had died. Choking back tears, Morales said the officer was a friend of his and well loved by the department. Mayor Tom Barrett accompanied the chief and said, “words cannot describe the sorrow and anger I feel at this moment.” 

The shooting happens nearly two months after the death of Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine Jr., who was killed after the squad car he was in crashed while in pursuit of a reckless driver.

Besides in the neighborhood, hundreds of people gathered in downtown Milwaukee Wednesday night to show support for the police department — as dozens of police cars escorted the body of the fallen officer in a procession from Froedtert Hospital onto I-94 and to the medical examiner’s office on 9th and State.

Mayor Barrett, District Attorney John Chisholm and dozens of community leaders were among the crowd. Others issued statements of condolence, including one from Gov. Walker and one from Ald. Russell Stamper. Stamper thanked the officer for his service and said the sadness he witnessed at the scene is difficult to process. He said he cannot stop thinking about the officer and his family. 

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
Lauren Sigfusson
Lauren became WUWM's digital producer in July 2018.