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Thursday Police Shooting Marks 3rd Incident In 2-Week Span In Milwaukee County

Greenfield Officer Injured In Sunday Shooting 'Fighting For His Life'

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Three people in Milwaukee have been shot and killed by police in the past two weeks.

In all three cases, police say the suspect had a gun. In two cases, the person was shot after firing at police.

The latest shooting happened Thursday night, when police tried to make a traffic stop because of reckless driving. Police say the driver — who was later identified as 33-year-old Earl Lawhorn — didn’t stop, which led to a car chase. Lawhorn later crashed the car and took off on foot. Officers shot Lawhorn, who later died at a hospital from injuries sustained in the shooting.

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Milwaukee Police Inspector Willie Murphy briefed reporters Thursday night.

“The suspect was armed with a handgun and refused to drop the gun after several commands,” said Murphy. “The Milwaukee area investigative team will be investigating this incident. The Waukesha Police Department will be the lead law enforcement agency in the investigation, and a community briefing discussing this incident will be released in the future.”

Murphy identified the two officers involved as 31-year-old man with three years of experience and a 29-year-old man with four years of experience, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The officers have been placed on administrative duty per standard procedure after an officer-involved shooting.

According to the Washington Post, five people have been shot and killed by a police officer in Wisconsin so far this year, not including Thursday night’s shooting. That’s compared to 18 shootings each last year and the year before.

The three police shootings in less than two weeks represent an abnormal trend.

Thirty-one year old Milwaukee man Tyran Lamb was shot and killed by police on Aug. 22 after an attempted traffic stop. Greenfield’s Police Chief Jay Johnson said Tuesday that the Greenfield officer injured in that shooting is still “fighting for his life.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Lamb shot at officers after leaving his car, hitting the now-injured officer multiple times. Police have not released the identity of that officer or other officers involved in the shooting.

A 42-year-old man, Broderick Shelton, Jr., died after another shooting at a gas station Aug. 16. Police said Shelton fired his gun after a demand from officers to drop it. Police were dispatched there following a 911 call.

The use of lethal force by police has been the subject of intense nationwide scrutiny since the 2020 murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The Wisconsin Department of Justice also began collecting data on police shootings and other uses of force in early 2020. In Milwaukee, communities of color have mentioned a lack of trust in police amid ongoing calls for change.