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Hero Down: Milwaukee Police Officer Peter Jerving Murdered By Robbery Suspect On Probation

Milwaukee, WI – Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) Officer Peter Jerving was murdered in the line of duty on Tuesday while attempting to apprehend a robbery suspect who had just been placed on probation one day earlier.

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said during a media briefing that investigators had linked 19-year-old Terrell Thompson to a robbery that occurred near Good Hope Road and Teutonia at approximately 11:25 p.m. on Feb. 6.

That robbery was committed just hours after Thompson was placed on probation for a 2021 hit-and-run offense, according to WITI.

Officers with the MPD’s District 4 were searching for Thompson and ultimately located him in the area of 14th Street and Cleveland at about 1:16 a.m. on Feb. 7, Chief Norman said.

The chief said Thompson ignored the officers’ commands and took off running from them.

“One of the officers was able to catch up to the suspect and a struggle ensued,” Chief Norman said.

The police chief said the suspect pulled out a gun during the brawl and opened fire, striking Officer Jerving, WITI reported.

Despite his wounds, the heroic officer returned fire and wounded his attacker.

Thompson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Chief Norman said investigators are working to determine whether the suspect’s fatal wound was self-inflicted or the result of the officer’s gunfire.

Officer Jerving, 37, was rushed to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.

He served the MPD for four years.

Chief Norman said the lifelong Milwaukee resident had dreamed of becoming a police officer since he was 13 years old, WITI reported.

“It is with much sadness that we, the family of Officer Peter Jerving, announce his untimely death which took place in the line of duty,” Officer Jerving’s family said in a statement released by MPD Chaplain George Papachristou on Tuesday, according to WITI. “Officer Peter Jerving loved and dedicated his life to serving the great people of our city. To his last breath, Peter fulfilled that goal. Milwaukee has lost one of its finest young officers.”

A long line of first responders escorted Officer Jerving’s body from the hospital to the medical examiner’s office on Tuesday morning, WITI reported.

A second procession took place that evening as the slain officer was transported from the medical examiner’s office to a funeral home in Brookfield.

“Milwaukee, our hearts are heavy. Milwaukee Police Department’s hearts are heavy. My heart is heavy,” Chief Norman said during the press briefing as he struggled to hold back tears. “One of our finest, who put on that uniform who put on that badge, went into work last night and paid the ultimate sacrifice for protecting our community. Milwaukee, we need your prayers. We need your support.”

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the entire city owes a debt of gratitude to the officers who work to protect the community “each and every single day.”

“An officer paid the ultimate price – his life – in protecting and serving this city,” Johnson told reporters. “It is on all of us to make sure our city is safe…It’s not just the men and women in uniform. It’s all of us that have a role to play.”

The mayor said members of the community must speak up and hold others “to account” if they know they are out committing crimes or creating violence in the community.

“There are no excuses for this. This officer should not be dead right now,” he added. “This should not happen.”

The MPD District 7 station was temporarily closed in the wake of Officer Jerving’s murder, WITI reported.

A patrol vehicle draped with a flag was parked outside the building and has since become a makeshift memorial covered with flowers, balloons, and various other tokens.

“Peter Jerving is a name that we will remember in Milwaukee and a name that we will honor in Milwaukee,” Johnson told WITI.

Officer Jerving leaves behind his longtime partner, Megan, according to a fundraising page established to help his family in the wake of their loss.

Donors had contributed more than $23,000 to the fund at publication time.

Officer Jerving will be laid to rest on Feb. 13, according to his obituary.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Milwaukee Police Department Officer Peter Jerving, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Officer Peter Jerving, your life mattered.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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