72nd and Greenfield homicide: Milwaukee man charged; cash bond $500K

Wilson Medina Cruz

A 25-year-old Milwaukee man is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in connection with a fatal shooting that happened near 72nd and Greenfield in West Allis. The accused is Wilson Medina Cruz.

According to the criminal complaint, West Allis police officers responded to a residence near 72nd and Greenfield on Monday, July 18 -- for a report of screaming and gunshots. When they arrived on the scene, the officers found a 24-year-old woman laying on the ground -- she suffered a gunshot wound. The West Allis Fire Department was called to the scene -- and despite lifesaving measures, the victim died a short time later.

Investigators spoke with a couple of workers who were in the area at the time. After they heard the gunshots, they saw a man running from an alley. The workers took several photographs of the subject as he went north where he was picked up by a gold or tan Cadillac near 71st and Madison. Those photos were shared with investigators.

Homicide scene near 72nd and Greenfield, West Allis

Officials also recovered security video from a nearby business. It showed the Cadillac -- and investigators were able to identify the license plates on the vehicle.

A detective made contact with a woman near the scene of the shooting. This person identified the person in the photographs snapped by the workers as "Manuel Medina." The woman noted Medina was the boyfriend of the deceased for approximately two to three years -- and that they had three children in common.

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The complaint says the defendant was arrested by West Allis police on July 19 at an Embassy Hotel in Oak Creek. The complaint says "the defendant was wearing ripped blue jeans and a black baseball hat similar to those observed during the homicide."

While in custody, Medina Cruz spoke with investigators through an interpreter. The defendant initially denied any involvement in this homicide and denied carrying a firearm, the complaint says. When confronted with evidence placing him at the scene of the homicide, Medina Cruz said "someone came up and shot (the victim) and also shot at the defendant." A detective then indicated there was no evidence of anyone else on the scene. The defendant "then admitted to shooting (the victim) with a white and black 9mm firearm," the complaint says. He stated the shooting happened when (the victim) came outside and "was swinging at him. The defendant said that he shot her and wasn't looking. He said he 'just shot like crazy,'" the complaint says. Medina Cruz also told investigators he "got rid of the gun somewhere in Burlington, Wisconsin" -- and "admitted that he had purchased a plane ticket to Puerto Rico and planned to fly there," the complaint says.

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Medina Cruz made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Saturday, July 23. Cash bond was set at $500,000. Medina Cruz is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 2.