Milwaukee, WI – More details have been released about what led up to a gunfight inside the lobby of the Milwaukee Police Department’s District 5 on Friday afternoon.
Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said the incident occurred at about 3 p.m. on Feb.25 in the District 5 station house located in the 2900-block of Vel R. Phillips Avenue, WITI reported.
Chief Norman said there were a number of civilians in the lobby when a man armed with a gun entered and began firing at police officers.
The police chief said seven police officers returned fire, according to WTMJ.
The gunman was shot multiple times.
But he didn’t go down, and instead fled the scene.
Officers chased after the armed man who has since been identified by his family as 23-year-old Darreon Parker-Bell, WTMJ reported.
Police chased the gunman on foot and apprehended Parker-Bell two blocks away near the intersection of 6th and Locust, WITI reported.
He was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Parker-Bell remained hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, WITI reported.
Police recovered the gun he used to shoot at officers when he was arrested.
Chief Norman said the seven officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings.
The West Allis Police Department is heading up the investigation into the incident, WTMJ reported.
Parker-Bell’s mother said that her son had been in a bad mental state because his close friend, Keishon Thomas, died in police custody two days earlier.
Waukesha police are investigating that incident and three Milwaukee police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave pending completion of the probe, WTMJ reported.
The mother said that her son walked into the District 5 police station thinking he had nothing to live for and with the goal of being killed by police.
His uncle also told WTMJ that Parker-Bell was suicidal and said he was thankful no officers were injured.
He said his nephew had been upset because he didn’t think Milwaukee police were releasing information on his friend’s death fast enough.
Waukesha police have said they will not release the details of the incident until toxicology and other investigative reports are in, WTMJ reported.
On Friday morning, before he attacked District 5, Parker-Bell posted “Count down starts now” on his Facebook page above an article about Thomas’ death in custody.
Court records showed that Parker-Bell was convicted of endangering safety with a dangerous weapon in 2019 and sentenced to 75 hours of community service, WTMJ reported.
Chief Norman said his staff – both officers and civilians – were shaken by the attack on District 5, WITI reported.
Exclusive photos of Milwaukee Police District 5 station after the brother of a man who died in custody stormed in Friday and opened fire. Miraculously no one was injured and the suspect was shot multiple times when officers returned fire. He is in custody. pic.twitter.com/n8bVjUdmSC
— Dan O'Donnell (@DanODonnellShow) February 27, 2022
“There is a lot of destruction,” the police chief said. “This is where you come in to file reports, so this is something that I will say no one really expects.”
Milwaukee Police Association President Andrew Wagner said officers were stunned that the escalating violence in the city had spread into the police station, WTMJ reported.
“They’re shocked. They’re angry,” Wagner said. “No officer wants to fire their weapon, ever. We had a number of officers that did [on Friday] and that’s traumatic as well.”
There has been a sharp increase in violence against law enforcement officers in the community since the start of the New Year, WTMJ reported.
Two Milwaukee police officers and a Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputy were shot multiple times in separate incidents in January.
“We keep encouraging them that we know most of the community has their back,” Wagner said. “Poll after poll shows that; that they [the public] respect law enforcement and that they’re there for them.”