Car dealers reinforce safety during test drives after theft that led to officer-involved shooting

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police say a Glendale police officer and a suspect were injured in an officer-involved shooting that occurred Saturday afternoon, August 1st near 13th and W. Cottage. The shooting was preceded by a vehicle theft and pursuit -- and it has some car dealers reinforcing their safety policies when it comes to test drives. Glendale police say this all began minutes before 1:00 p.m. Saturday when a 28-year-old Milwaukee man stole a Porsche at gunpoint from a Concours Motors employee in the 6400 block of N. Green Bay Road. We're told the vehicle theft occurred during a test ride.

Officer-involved shooting (Glendale police officer & suspect injured)

A Glendale police officer spotted the stolen Porsche and the suspect fled.

The officer pursued the suspect to the area of N. 14th Street and W. Burleigh -- where the suspect crashed into a parked vehicle and fled on foot.

Officer-involved shooting (Glendale police officer & suspect injured)

The officer then chased the suspect to a playground near 14th and W. Columbia -- where the suspect then shot at the officer. The officer returned fire, and both the officer and suspect were injured. The suspect fled again -- and was taken into custody in the 1300 block of W. Cottage. "(The officer) gave chase to someone he knew was armed. When the suspect bailed, he continued to chase -- knowing (the suspect) was armed. When he confronted (the suspect), the suspect shot at him. He returned fire, wounding the suspect and continued to chase what he thought could be an armed suspect. The officer observed the suspect had a gun and gave chase on foot. Shots were exchanged. The suspect was wounded. He fled again, with the officer chasing again and eventually taken into custody just outside the playground property. We just happened to have people in the right place at the right time," Glendale Police Chief Tom Czarnyszka said. Joel Dhein with the Glendale Police Department said there were children on the playground when this incident was unfolding. No one, besides the officer and the suspect were injured.

Officer-involved shooting (Glendale police officer & suspect injured)

The officer was taken to Froedtert Hospital, where he was treated and released. He is 36 years old, and has been with the Glendale Police Department for 13 years. He has been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in these situations. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said at the scene initial reports indicated the officer suffered a graze wound to his head.

The suspect was also taken to Froedtert, where he was treated and then turned over to Milwaukee police. He is a 28-year-old Milwaukee man, and Glendale police say he has an "extensive" criminal history -- including both adult and juvenile cases. We're told "numerous shots were fired" during this officer-involved shooting. A neighbor tells FOX6 News he heard seven gunshots while sitting inside his home near the scene. "I was at 9th and Clarke and I heard about 10 shots. I asked my nephew -- 'I just heard 10 shots' and he said he heard them too," Emilio Witherspoon said.

Officer-involved shooting (Glendale police officer & suspect injured)

"This underscores the problem that we see now -- not just in the city of Milwaukee -- because this car theft occurred in Glendale. The pursuit ended up here, and there was another vehicle that was hit -- from the people who live right across the street from the scene," Mayor Barrett said Saturday afternoon. FOX6 News spoke with Dennis Carroll, who said his vehicle, which was parked near the scene of this officer-involved shooting, was struck by the Porsche prior to the shooting.

"I heard a lot of rubber, you know, fast running cars -- screech. The next thing you know, I heard them hit my truck over there, and they pushed the truck up on the curb. The Porsche -- or whatever kind of car it was, was trying to get away. I seen a guy get out of the Porsche. The police was chasing him and he ran across Columbia Park and the next thing you know, I heard gunshots," Carroll said. Carroll said his vehicle was struck when the suspect vehicle was trying to make a turn onto 14th Street. "He lost control and he hit my truck. The police was at him, trying to get him, catch him, and (an officer) told him to stop -- and he started running. He started running down 14th and he cut across the playground. Next thing I know, I heard shots. He had a rifle or something. I heard one (shot) and then I heard about five or six more," Carroll said. Carroll said the incident was like "being in a warzone." "This right here is senseless. It needs to stop. We need to figure out something. These kids and stuff -- and guns. Why do they feel the way they feel that they have to have a gun? Try to teach these young men there is another way. You don't have to sell drugs. You don't have to pack a gun. You should go to school and get your education," Carroll said. The Milwaukee Police Department is handling the investigation into this officer-involved shooting. The Glendale Police Department is investigating the theft of the Porsche that preceded it. Meanwhile, this incident has some car dealers re-enforcing their safety policies when it comes to test drives. Larry Moris may not sell any Porsches at Southside Auto Mart, but he knows when it comes to theft, "nobody's exempt." Moris has been in business for more than 30 years. "We've had a policy in place, in force, for years," Moris said. And it has served his business well. Moris says if one of his employees was threatened at gunpoint his advice would be: "Give them the car and let them go," Moris said. Police say the 28-year-old suspect in the vehicle theft that led to the officer-involved shooting this weekend brandished a weapon during a test drive and ordered the dealership associate out of the vehicle. That's what led to the pursuit, a crash, and eventually, to the officer-involved shooting. While officials with the Glendale dealership involved in the incident on Saturday declined to comment, other local car dealerships offered some best practices when it comes to safety during test drives:

    Officials with other, smaller car dealerships say they called meetings first thing Monday morning to talk about what happened this weekend -- warning employees to watch for customers who don't come to the dealership in their own vehicle, customers who don't have a valid driver's license, and customers who may act suspicious. "If you don`t have a valid driver's license, you`re not driving. If you take a $5,000 car from me, it's the same as taking $5,000 in cash. It's money," Moris said. This incident is the fourth officer-involved shooting to occur in less than one month's time. MPD is handling the investigation into each of these incidents:

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