Wauwatosa police have confirmed that an officer shot a woman after responding to a call of a “female subject violently attacking another female.” The officer involved shooting unfolded in the area of Harwood and Underwood Avenues in the city on the evening of Dec. 10. At this time, police do not believe the woman who was shot was part of a protest group.
Wauwatosa police say the 35-year-old woman shot by a police officer on December 10 had violently and randomly attacked a female with a stick, struck the officer’s squad car with a wooden post and then advanced toward the officer with the weapon.
The woman, who has not been identified, is in stable condition.
“A 35 year old female is recovering in the hospital after being shot by police. We understand that any use of force can be concerning to our citizens. Police officers train to control individuals with the least amount of force necessary. Any time there is an officer involved shooting, we understand the community has many concerns. No police officer wants this to happen,” police wrote in a news release.
The shooting had sparked protests and criticism from Black Lives Matter and People’s Revolution members even before any details were known.
On Thursday, 12/10/2020, around 9:15 p.m., officers “responded to a report of an assault in the 7900 block of Harwood Ave. The initial caller reported witnessing a female subject violently attacking a female victim with a stick. Preliminary investigations found the subject was unknown to the victim and it appeared this was a random and unprovoked attack. After the attack, the subject left the area and was last seen walking eastbound on Harwood Ave.”
The release continues that the 23 year old female officer, with nine months experience, “responded and located the subject in the area of Underwood Ave/Harmonee Ave. The subject immediately ran up to the officer’s police vehicle and began striking the windshield with a wooden post. When confronted by the officer, the subject refused to comply with the officer’s commands and advanced on the officer with the wooden post. The officer was forced to shoot the subject.”
“At approximately 9:15 p.m., officers responded to a report of suspicious circumstances in the 7900 Harwood Ave,” police spokeswoman Abby Pavlik told Wisconsin Right Now. “The initial caller reported witnessing a female subject violently attacking another female. An officer located the subject in the area of Underwood Ave/Harmonee Ave where an altercation occurred and shots were fired by the responding officer. The subject was transported to the hospital for medical attention. Multiple law enforcement agencies have responded to the scene and the department has requested the Milwaukee Area Investigative Team to respond and investigate the incident.”
She added, “We are aware of rumors that the involved subject was part of a protest group, at this time, we believe that to be inaccurate.” The woman’s condition is not clear.
“Officer involved shooting in the area of Harwood Av/Underwood Av. Heavy police presence as the investigation is underway. Find alternate routes through Wauwatosa Av, W State St, Menomonee River Parkway areas. Additional information will be forthcoming. #LESM,” police wrote on Twitter.
Officer involved shooting in the area of Harwood Av/Underwood Av. Heavy police presence as the investigation is underway. Find alternate routes through Wauwatosa Av, W State St, Menomonee River Parkway areas. Additional information will be forthcoming. #LESM
— Wauwatosa Police (WI) (@WauwatosaPD) December 11, 2020
A small group of protesters was at the scene demanding information:
A small group of protesters have gathered along the perimeter of scene. They’re demanding answers, specifically from Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber. No details so far from the department about this investigation. @tmj4 pic.twitter.com/jHmV7GQLS7
— Ben Jordan (@BenJordan3) December 11, 2020
This woman was livestreaming. It was getting tense. “A police officer shot a human being, and we’re in the street angry about it,” the woman said in the video. She also called police “subhuman.” The woman stood at the police tape, railing at officers.
“Where is the lady who was shot?” a protester asked police. Police have not confirmed the gender or identity of the person shot, or the person’s condition.
Local reporters were at the scene and confirmed a large police presence and that shots were fired. West Allis police and the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department were also responding.
Dispatch audio on Broadcastify indicated the following:
“Shots fired. Shots fired. All squads respond. Harwood and Underwood.”
“Is the subject hit?”
Tonight in Wauwatosa: https://t.co/P8OmIdRNw8
— Joyce Garbaciak WISN (@JoyceGarbaciak) December 11, 2020
— Caroline Reinwald (@WISN_Caroline) December 11, 2020
— Tanner Kahler (@tannerkahler) December 11, 2020
USFIR2015, a site that monitors urban incident reporting, wrote:
“Wauwatosa WI – 1400 blk Underwood Ave – Officer Involved Shooting – Suspect down with a GSW, officer not injured #Wauwatosa #Shooting #USFiR.”
— USFiR2015 (@USFiR2015) December 11, 2020
“Officer involved shooting on 1400 blk Underwood Ave, Wauwatosa. Avoid the area, suspect is down,” wrote the Twitter page Trusted Weather.
Wauwatosa has been the scene of significant unrest over the three fatal police shootings by Officer Joseph Mensah, who has since agreed to resign his position.
Disclosure, Jessica McBride is the niece of Wauwatosa mayor Dennis McBride.