Caesar Fuentes, a firefighter and EMT with the Hales Corners Fire Department, is the suspect in the shooting death of Andre Nicholson outside a Third Ward nightclub, Site1a, Wisconsin Right Now has learned. Meanwhile, Nicholson was mourned in multiple moving tributes as “the kindest soul” and “a true peacemaker.”
We learned the suspect’s name from two sources close to the incident.
Fuentes has now been booked in the Milwaukee County Jail, where he is being held on $150,000 bail and “pending charges.” The custody date was listed as December 9.
We called the Hales Corners Fire Department seeking comment about Caesar Fuentes, who also indicates his firefighter status on his Facebook page. “No, we have no comment at this time. Call back tomorrow. You can talk to the chief,” the firefighter who answered said when asked about Fuentes. Milwaukee police say the suspect has turned himself in and is 23 years old, but they haven’t named him, and he hasn’t been criminally charged.
Sources said an argument ignited inside the Third Ward establishment over sports, and Nicholson allegedly sucker punched the suspect. Security tried to calm things down, and it seemed defused at first, but Caesar Fuentes is suspected of retrieving a gun and then shooting Nicholson. On social media, some people are painting the shooting as a hate crime between a white suspect and Black victim; sources say, though, that Caesar Fuentes is Hispanic, although one source alleged that Caesar Fuentes is accused of using a racial slur during the incident, specifically calling Nicholson a “Whitefish Bay (N word).” Sources say that Nicholson was kicked out of the bar.
Nicholson’s Facebook page says he graduated from Whitefish Bay High School.
However, Milwaukee Police told CBS58, “At this time, there’s no indication that this incident was racially motivated.” Nicholson’s mother also told that television station that her son was called racial slurs, specifically “Whitefish Bay (expletive).”
On December 6, police gave this account of the homicide:
“Milwaukee Police are investigating a homicide that occurred on 12/06/2020, at about 3:25 a.m., on the 200 block of E. Buffalo Street. The 24-year-old male victim was leaving the bar when the victim was struck multiple times by gunfire. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The circumstances leading up to the shooting are under investigation. Milwaukee Police continues to seek unknown suspects. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS or P3 Tips App.”
Police did not name Nicholson yet, but he was identified by family to local news media and by multiple friends on social media.
Friends offered heartfelt tributes to Nicholson on Facebook. Rashadeem Mustófa Gray wrote:
You know when you ask someone if they’re good knowing damn well they aren’t and they say ‘I’m good’ despite wearing their emotions on their sleeve? Well I’m not good. I didn’t cry. It was more of an uncontrollable wail that was delayed because I refused to believe it was true.
Text after text asking if I was awake yet and did I hear what happened continued to build a real world narrative that I had hoped to be just another bad dream. Someone really hated themselves enough to hurt an angel.
A friend was lost. A son. A brother. An icon. Even if you didn’t know him, you knew him. Pain, sadness, and anger are things that can’t even begin to express what is being felt. There can be no justice for the shed of innocent blood. There is nothing that can be done that will bring comfort. However, all that can be done, must be done.
May the ‘justice’ system do what is just for the sake of the city and the people who loved him. Pray the right thing is done because if justice is not served, there truly will be no peace.
Rest In Power Andre Nicholson. Thank you for being you and spreading joy and happiness to all who had the honor to encounter you. I love you man.
Lauren Elise, another friend, wrote, “My go to person. My brightest light. My bestfriend. I just wanna say thank you.
Thank you for being the most respectful, loving, goofy person I’ve ever met. You brought people together. You were a leader, never a follower. Someone to look up to. The life of a party. You lived every day like it was your last. You’ve really shown me what true friendship looks like these last two years and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
A friend named Devon Diamond wrote on Facebook of Nicholson, “I’m at a loss of words…I’ve known Andre since the fifth grade and he was the kindest soul. This is a sick sick place we live in. You will be missed dearly my boy. ❤️”
Tyrone Lewis, Nicholson’s cousin, told CBS58 that Nicholson was “Just a good guy, never had no altercations with nobody, nobody could ever have anything bad to say about him.”
Friends and family told WTMJ-TV that Nicholson was caring and non-confrontational.
The People’s Revolution group wrote, “Over the weekend, Andre Nicholson’s life was taken by gun violence here in Milwaukee. We send our sincerest condolences to the loved ones of Andre. As investigations continue, we will remain by their side through this grieving process.” They followed that up with the hashtag, “#SayNoToTheCOPGrant —Please contact your alderperson and let them know to say no to the grant,” referring to a $10 million federal grant Milwaukee has been offered for more police officers.