• Search

Suspect Who Killed Milwaukee Cop Was Put On Probation Just Hours Before Deadly Shooting

Milwaukee, WI – The suspect accused of murdering a Milwaukee police officer during a robbery investigation had just been placed on probation one day earlier for a different offense that could have sent him to a lockup facility.

Terrell Thompson, 19, pleaded guilty on Feb. 6 to a hit-and-run charge that occurred in 2021, WITI reported.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Dee sentenced Thompson to 120 days in the House of Correction for that offense, but he stayed the sentence as long as Thompson successfully completed one year of probation.

Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said investigators linked Thompson to a robbery that occurred near Good Hope Road and Teutonia just hours after his probation sentence was handed down, WITI reported.

Officers with the Milwaukee Police Department’s (MPD) 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 during a media briefing.

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 37-year-old MPD Officer Peter 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 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 later in the 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 have contributed more than $15,000 to the fund so far.

Officer Jerving was laid to rest on Feb. 13, TMJ reported.

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


Sign up to our daily newsletter so you don't miss out on the latest events surrounding law enforcement!

Follow Me

Follow us on social media and be sure to mark us as "See First."