Court records: West Allis man accused of shooting MPD officer out on $500 cash bond at the time

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee police officer was shot while investigating a call on the city's south side early Sunday, July 17th. Police on Monday, July 18th identified the shooter as 20-year-old Tomas Uriegas.

Tomas Uriegas

According to court records, Uriegas was out on $500 cash bond in a case in which he was charged with aggravated battery, domestic abuse assessments -- a felony charge. That bond was posted on June 7th. Uriegas had a plea/sentencing hearing scheduled for September 1st in that case.

According to a criminal complaint, Uriegas was accused of punching his mother's live-in boyfriend in the face, causing him to fall six to seven feet off a porch onto a dirt surface. The complaint says Uriegas' mother's live-in boyfriend was unconscious on the ground when Uriegas struck him a second time. He then fled the scene.

Uriegas' mother's live-in boyfriend suffered a fractured cheekbone and a serious spinal injury. He was hospitalized and essentially paralyzed at the time charges were filed.

According to the complaint, Uriegas' mother's live-in boyfriend reported that Uriegas "had a troubled youth, dropping out of high school and engaging in alcohol consumption and drug use."

In August of 2015, he was charged with fraudulent use of a financial transaction card (less than $2,500). He pleaded guilty to that misdemeanor charge after a deferred prosecution agreement was revoked in April 2016. He was ordered to pay restitution and court costs, and he was ordered to serve 90 days in the House of Correction.

The complaint indicates Uriegas used a credit card that did not belong to him at a Sam's Club store on S. 108th Street in West Allis in June of 2015. The complaint says Uriegas assisted the victim while serving as a cashier at Sam's Club and then kept her credit card when she left it on the counter -- before deciding to go use it.

Officers on Sunday responded to several calls in the neighborhood near 17th and Morgan for two domestic violence related incidents. During both occasions, the suspect was no longer there when officers arrived.

Around 2:00 a.m., an officer, identified by MPD as 31-year-old Brandon Baranowski, was seated in a squad car when a suspect (Uriegas) approached on foot and fired a gun several times into the squad, striking the officer several times.

“While he was in his car, the suspect came up along the passenger side of the vehicle and fired multiple shots into the vehicle," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said.

"At that moment, he was doing his best to provide safety to a woman and child in the middle of a domestic violence situation," William Jessup, MPD assistant chief said.

Officer Brandon Baranowski remains hospitalized for his injuries and had surgery Monday, July 18th.

MPD officer shot, wounded near 17th and Morgan

 Mayor Barrett said the officer was hit in the arm and chest.

"I do believe this was an ambush.  Again, it was not an ambush in the sense of Baton Rouge, but the officer was sitting in his squad and was shot.  That, to me, is an ambush.  He was ambushed. There can be absolutely no explanation, no excuse, no rationale for shooting police officers in this nation," Mayor Barrett said.

MPD officer shot, wounded near 17th and Morgan

"He was saved by his vest, basically. He was shot more than once and sustained some injuries that require surgery but he was shot in his vest at least one or two times and the vest saved his life," Jessup said.

As officers were on scene investigating regarding the injured officer, they heard a single gun shot around 2:30 a.m. nearby. They then found a man (Uriegas) who had suffered an apparent self-inflicted fatal gunshot wound to the head.

"It's just sad that it has to come to that point," Martin Sevilla, a neighbor said.

A handgun was recovered next to the suspect. Officials are now working to determine who purchased that gun.

We're told the woman and child involved in the domestic violence related incident are OK.

MPD officer shot, wounded near 17th and Morgan

Uriegas' family released this statement to FOX6 News Sunday evening:

"This terrible tragedy is not the result of any movement, political agenda, race or gender. It is the result of a young man who was suffering from profound emotional distress. His mother and family members were working diligently to identify resources and get them into place. Sadly our efforts were not in enough time. We are deeply saddened by his desperate and misguided actions and would like to express our most heartfelt apologies to Officer Brandon Baranowski and his entire family as a result of this tragic incident. We would like to thank the entire Milwaukee Police Department for their efforts to perform life saving measures and their efforts to protect and serve in our community. He was a loving father, son, brother, grandson, nephew, uncle, cousin, and friend and he will be profoundly missed. The family is asking that you respect our privacy while we grieve the loss of our dear loved one."

Baranowski, the officer who was shot, has 13 years of experience on the force.

MPD officer shot, wounded near 17th and Morgan