Police: 3 Men Charged In Connection With Fatal Shooting Of 5-Year-Old In Milwaukee

Laylah Petersen Was Shot, Killed Last Year

Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

Milwaukee police say that three men have been charged with felonies in connection with the fatal shooting last year of Laylah Petersen, a 5-year-old girl who was killed while sitting on her grandfather’s lap.

Petersen’s death is one of several cases in Milwaukee in which children have been killed or wounded by gunfire.

Police said that two men, who have been charged with reckless homicide, were apparently seeking revenge against another man who had been found not guilty of killing one of the defendants’ relatives. However, the pair mistakenly fired their guns into the home of Petersen’s grandparents, striking the girl.

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Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said it’s hard to head off attempts at retaliation.

“When it is a highly motivated criminal out there with a firearm on a mission of revenge, it’s difficult to come up with a preemptive tactic, particularly given how easy it is for them to procure a firearm,” he said.

The third suspect allegedly drove the car the two apparent shooters used that evening and has been charged with harboring or aiding a felon.