6 dead in Milwaukee home, victims identified

Six people were found dead in a Milwaukee home in what police are investigating as multiple homicides, investigators said. Officials with the Milwaukee Police Department tell FOX6 News the victims had injuries that are suspected to have been caused by gunfire.

The medical examiner formally identified the victims Monday night as follows:

  • Charles Hardy, 42
  • Caleb Jordan, 23
  • Javoni Liddell, 31
  • Donta "Michael" Williams, 44
  • Michelle Williams, 49
  • Donald Smith, 43

Reports from the medical examiner's office show three of the six victims, Michelle and Donta Williams, along with Donald Smith, lived in the same home near 21st and Wright.

"Am I in a movie? This is not real," said Tiffany Whittington.

Whittington remembers her cousin, 49-year-old Michelle Williams.  

"She didn’t deserve this – in her own home!" said Whittington.

Family grew concerned late last week when they had not heard from Williams.

Michelle Williams

"When they got there, they said the smell – the stench – was so overpowering.  Neighbors said they had been smelling it for a few days," Whittington said.

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Williams was killed alongside her husband, Michael Williams.

"She was the best person you could meet," said Whittington. "She literally had the best heart.  She was not in the street or in a gang that would cause her this harm."

A woman named Ronda, who did not want to show her face on camera out of fear for her safety, said she shares a 15-year-old daughter with Michael Williams. She said the family was planning a Sweet 16 birthday party for her daughter. Instead, Ronda said they're now in shock over this sudden loss of life. 

 "Home was first, his wife and kids," said Ronda. "That's all that mattered to him, his kids and grandkids, and he loved 'em so dearly. (My daughter is) emotional. She can't sleep. She's constantly crying, and you know, it's hard for her to take it all in."

On Sunday, Jan. 23, Milwaukee police said five bodies were discovered after a welfare check. 

"The motive and any information regarding any involved suspects is not known to us right now," said Milwaukee Assistant Police Chief Paul Formolo on Sunday night.

Hours later, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed a sixth body was found inside the home. Police say the woman and five men appear to have been shot. 

Homicide investigation near 21st and Wright in Milwaukee

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Tiffany Whittington

Neighbors describe both Michelle and Michael Williams as "hard-working" and "friendly" people.

"There is no information to suggest that there is a threat to the community," Formolo said.

While the Milwaukee police investigation moves forward, it is leaving more questions than answers for family.

"I’m hoping there is some kind of video footage – doorbell cameras – I’m hoping the community, if they have anything – she was the neighborhood candy lady!  She didn’t deserve this," Whittington said.

21st and Wright homicide scene, Milwaukee

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS or P3 Tips App.

Reaction

Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson

"The murders discovered today on a residential block in the heart of our city are horrific.  First, I offer my condolences to the families and friends of the victims. Whatever the circumstances, we must share the grief of those who have lost loved ones.

"It is important not to feel numbed by the ongoing violence in our community.  A horrible crime has again occurred, and it is not a movie or a fictional account. These victims died in our city, in one of our neighborhoods.

"We remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce violence.  We will achieve that through strengthened and improved law enforcement, through community intervention, and through a renewed commitment to prevention.  Again, we can never accept murderous violence as routine, and we must together recommit ourselves to our shared responsibility to find solutions and make our city safer."

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Milwaukee Alderman Russell Stamper

"The horrific news of six individuals being found dead near North 21st and West Wright streets has left the community saddened, angry and shaken. To those who have suffered the loss of a family member, friend or neighbor at the hands of this violence, I offer my condolences and my thoughts are with you during this time.

"I am saddened by this developing situation. There are no words to accurately describe the feelings of the community at the continuing violence, but one thing remains perfectly clear. WE MUST DO BETTER.

"When it comes to curbing violence each and every single one of us needs to agree enough is enough, and we must stand up and speak up to help make a difference. No one should ever discount the impact they can make by voicing a concern over a situation that could lead to escalated violence."

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