Wisconsin deputy shot during foot pursuit after traffic stop

Milwaukee County sheriff says it's unclear if suspect died by self-inflicted gunshot

A Wisconsin sheriff's deputy shot several times while pursing a passenger who fled on foot from a traffic stop in Milwaukee is expected to survive his injuries.

Authorities are still working to determine whether a man who died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound as officers closed in was the same gunman who shot the deputy. 

The deputy, identified as a 26-year-old who has been with agency for 18 months, remains hospitalized after he was shot several times in his arms and torso, Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell R. Lucas said during a Wednesday press conference.

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"Thank goodness his injuries at this point do not appear to be life-threatening," the sheriff told reporters. "This is twice within two weeks law enforcement officers have encountered individuals with weapons and have been shot doing their job."  

Law enforcement presence near 64th and Adler streets in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, early Wednesday where a sheriff's deputy was shot during a foot pursuit. 

Law enforcement presence near 64th and Adler streets in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, early Wednesday where a sheriff's deputy was shot during a foot pursuit.  (Fox 6 Milwaukee/ WITI)

A deputy made the traffic stop at 2:08 a.m. for a registration violation in Milwaukee's Johnson's Woods neighborhood. When back-up units requested by the deputy began to arrive, the driver and passenger fled on foot.

The driver was taken into custody after a brief foot pursuit.

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At about 3 a.m. local time, a different deputy observed a male subject climb out of a garbage bin in the area, and a perimeter was reestablished, Lucas said. As that deputy approached, the suspect produced firearm and fired at the deputy, striking him several times. The suspect fled again.

As law enforcement continued to scour the area, officers encountered a man crouching down behind a vehicle, heard a single shot and then found the man lying on the ground from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Lucas said investigators are still working to determine if there’s any connection between that man and the shooting of the deputy.

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"It was an individual officers and deputies noted in the neighborhood and attempted to make contact with," Lucas said. "At this point right now, we have not been able to make the connection to what that individual’s involvement was. We hope to make that connection very shortly through some forensic evidence and other evidence so that we can give the all clear in the neighborhood."