Man On Life Support After Being Shot By Deputy Near Milwaukee Lakefront

Sheriff Clarke Identifies Man Shot As Terry Williams, 19; Deputy As Michael Truax, 32

Police tape
Justin McGregor (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A 19-year-old man is on life support in a local hospital after he was shot by a sheriff’s deputy on Milwaukee’s lakefront near Bradford Beach.

The African-American man identified Monday as Terry Williams was driving an SUV Sunday evening when a deputy in a marked squad car tried to pull the SUV over for a traffic violation and Williams fled, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

A deputy on foot patrol along the lakefront at the time fired into Williams’ vehicle and hit the teenager in the head, Clarke said.

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The deputy, who is white, has been identified as 32-year-old Michael Truax. He was hired in August 2016, Clarke said, and has been placed on administrative leave, as is agency policy, pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting.

A female passenger, Paula McEwen, was shot in the left shoulder and right hand, and taken to a local hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, he said.

The shooting happened at about 7:41 p.m. Sunday in the area of Lincoln Memorial Dr. and East Water Tower Road.

A loaded 9mm handgun was found in the vehicle. Clarke declined to give further details and didn’t take questions at the press conference.

“I understand the frustration of the public that they can’t know the whole of it within the first 24 hours. It’s just not real life,” Clarke said.

Milwaukee County Deputy Inspector Tobie Weberg said at the press conference that the deputy in the squad car saw Williams fail to obey a traffic sign, exit Northpoint parking lot and turn on Lincoln Memorial Drive just before the traffic stop was initiated, and Williams fled. Weberg did not go into any more detail.

Citizen video shows an SUV driving up a curb with a sheriff’s vehicle in pursuit when an officer appears on foot with a gun drawn. Multiple shots can be heard on the video. The SUV struck a car before it stopped.

The lakefront and the adjacent thoroughfare were congested with people Sunday evening when temperatures remained above normal.

Waukesha County sheriff’s deputies are handling the case because the law requires an outside agency to investigate when an officer is involved in a shooting. Waukesha County Sheriff Eric Severson said his investigators are interested in talking to witnesses.

Editor’s Note: This story was last updated at 5:32 p.m. Monday, June 12, with comments from Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and original reporting from WPR.