79th and Capitol fatal shooting: Milwaukee man charged

A 28-year-old Milwaukee man is charged in connection with the fatal shooting of Gregory Fabian near 79th and Capitol on March 15. The accused is Donvonta Pearson – and he faces the following criminal counts: 

  • First-degree reckless homicide
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon

Donvonta Pearson

According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police stopped in the area of 79th and Capitol early on Tuesday, March 15 -- when they heard approximately three to five gunshots. They "observed a silver four-door sedan traveling southbound on N. 79th Street at a high rate of speed."

The officers continued northbound on N. 79th and spotted a minivan with the front passenger wheel on the curb. Inside that vehicle was Gregory Fabian, who had suffered seven gunshot wounds. He was later pronounced deceased.

Detectives who arrived on the scene a short time later found four .40 caliber casings in the grassy area of the curb line near the minivan. The complaint says the "van had a broken middle passenger window and a bullet strike to the passenger door support column."

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Investigators reviewed surveillance video from the Capitol Quick Wash near the homicide scene. The complaint says the video shows the "suspect vehicle stops near the victim vehicle (near 79th and Capitol)." The vehicles are stopped next to each other for a moment and then the suspect vehicle drives away. Authorities were able to secure a license plate number from the surveillance video.

Fatal shooting near 79th and Capitol in Milwaukee (Courtesy: Incident Response)

On March 19, Milwaukee's Fugitive Apprehension Unit went to a residence near 91st and Silver Spring in search of Pearson. At some point, the door to a unit opened, and they spotted "the defendant exiting the apartment carrying a car seat with a young child," the complaint says. Officers "placed the defendant into handcuffs and noticed a piece of red clothing underneath his left arm area. While trying to handcuff the defendant, he bladed his body away from (the officer), trying to conceal the area with the red clothing," the complaint says. After Pearson was handcuffed, an officer "picked up the red clothing off of the ground and found a firearm fall from the clothing," the complaint says. The firearm was a silver/black Smith and Wesson loaded with nine rounds.

Fatal shooting near 79th and Capitol in Milwaukee (Courtesy: Incident Response)

When questioned, Pearson told detectives he went to 79th and Capitol to sell drugs to the victim, the complaint says. Pearson said another person was with him -- and was the shooter.

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Detectives arrested this second person who stated "he had nothing to do with this incident and was working during the time of the homicide." Police were able to confirm that information.

During a second interview, Pearson told detectives he went to 79th and Capitol alone. The "defendant said that the victim pulled up on 79th Street and stopped driver door to driver door with his car. The defendant said that the victim snatched 3 grams of crack cocaine with his hand without paying and tried to drive away," the complaint says. Pearson told police he grabbed the gun from his lap and stuck his arm out of the window. He "fired two times, exited his vehicle, retrieved the drugs from the street, and drove off," the complaint says.

Donvonta Pearson

Pearson made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Thursday, March 24. Cash bond was set at $100,000. Pearson is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on March 30.

Fabian's family offered the following statement to FOX6 News:

"Greg loved his family unconditionally, especially his three girls and his grandson. Addiction robbed him of his soul, but he did not deserve to die this way. His family and friends are grieving, but his memory will live on through the traditions he loved. He is safely in God's hands now."

Fabian's family urges anyone struggling with addition to call 1-800-662-HELP. That is a free, confidential hotline established by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


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