Waukesha Police shoot, kill unarmed man after responding to theft

Police chief said man made 'overt actions that were consistent with the individual drawing a firearm'

Matty Ring (CC BY 2.0)

Police in Waukesha shot and killed an unarmed 50-year-old man after responding to a theft at a car dealership early Tuesday morning.

Four officers with the Waukesha Police Department were called to a CarMax in the community at about 2:30 a.m. for a theft in progress. They found the man quickly, according to Waukesha Police chief Daniel Thompson. 

“However, the suspect — who continued to quickly walk away — was noncompliant with officers commands,” Thompson said during a press conference Tuesday.  “Officers attempted to engage with the suspect in a peaceful manner to deescalate the situation.” 

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thompson said the officers used verbal commands and “nonlethal force options” before the officers shot and killed the man, who was white. 

He said the man made “overt actions that were consistent with the individual drawing a firearm.”  Thompson said there was a foot pursuit during the incident.

The four officers involved are a 34-year-old with 11 years of law enforcement experience, a 37-year-old with three years of experience, a 24-year-old with two years of experience and a 29-year-old with five years of experience. 

Those officers are now on administrative leave. Their names, as well as the name of the individual who was killed, have not been released. 

“Anytime there’s a loss of life, it’s a sad day but I also want to say that when officers are forced in a situation where they have to use deadly force, it’s very traumatic and very impactful to them as well,” Thompson said.

“If the suspect would have complied, this would not have happened,” he said. 

The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating the incident as part of the Milwaukee Area Investigative Team.