"It's a manhunt in our neighborhood:" Witnesses react to shooting of Wauwatosa detective
WAUWATOSA -- A Wauwatosa police detective is shot Friday morning, June 19th while trying to arrest a burglary suspect. Now the biggest question is, where is the shooter, 20-year-old Najee Harmon?
Several Milwaukee neighborhoods were in the middle of the manhunt. A large area from North 60th and Good Hope down to Green Tree was blocked off. Police dogs and SWAT teams combed the area.
After several hours of searching, authorities continued their search for 20-year-old Najee Harmon, near N. 13th Street and W. Concordia Ave.
Police tape ropes off several blocks in the area and the crowds of people coming out to watch the search has also been continuing to grow.
A neighbor tells FOX6 News, she first spotted a police helicopter and squad cars in the area around 2 p.m. on Friday.
When FOX6 News arrived on scene, police already had several sections roped off and were patrolling the area near 12th and Concordia. Shortly after, Milwaukee Police Department tweeted that the search for the suspect led officers to a home near 12th and Keefe -- where Harmon was believed to be inside.
Crowds of onlookers gathered near the police tape to try and see what was going on.
"I seen a squad put the tear gas in and then they all went in with their little shields and everything and they busted the windows a little bit more and then they all went in," said Janine Harris, witness.
Police could be seen outside a home along an alleyway. Janine Harris says she was across the street when officers entered the building -- she says she saw a lot of smoke.
"If he was in there, then he should have passed out or something because it had our nose stinging and eyes burning," Harris said.
In the earlier hours of Friday, neighbors near the initial scene, 60th and Good Hope, were anxious to learn more on the situation.
"It's a manhunt in our neighborhood," said Michael Martina, witnessed chase.
Michael Martina saw a police chase near 76th and Mill when he was going to breakfast with his family.
"They were chasing somebody and they must have been chasing a vehicle or something," said Martina.
What was going on happened right in front of Phillip Smith. Smith lives in an apartment complex right near the drive where the shooting happened.
"Shooting the parking lot just right in the parking lot. Anyone is out there they could have got hit just as well as they're shooting at each other," said Smith.
Smith heard "twenty to thirty" shots and ran back into the apartment building.
"I seen them, they was the officers originally here," said Smith.
Soon the search for the gunman would be urgent. Traffic was diverted, officers went door to door and cars were searched.
Officers with body armor and SWAT gear combed the area -- as did police search dogs.
"This is insanity. I can't believe it, actually. It's close to home and my son, we could have, twenty minutes later, ten minutes later, been in the middle of guns blazing off really," said Martina.
Police are warning the public to be vigilant and dial 911 if you see Harmon. He is considered armed and dangerous.
Officials in southeast Wisconsin are reacting to the shooting of a Wauwatosa detective on Friday morning, June 19th. The following are their written statements issued by news releases.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett
"Today's shooting of a Wauwatosa police detective on Milwaukee's northwest side is both alarming and deplorable. My thoughts are with the wounded officer and his family."
"The Milwaukee Police Department has been joined by other law enforcement agencies to apprehend the suspect and investigate the circumstances of the shooting. The cooperation and thoroughness of the response is admirable."
"This incident is a reminder of the dangers our police officers face. I greatly appreciate the work of all the professionals who protect our community."
Milwaukee Alderman Terry Witkowski
"My thoughts are with the Wauwatosa police detective who was shot this morning on Milwaukee’s northwest side. I offer my prayers and support to the detective and his family, and I know that our citizens and the entire Milwaukee Police Department are also wishing him a speedy recovery."
"As the retired City of Milwaukee Safety Director and chair of the Common Council’s Public Safety Committee, I am well aware of the sacrifice and dedication of our men and women of law enforcement. They are sworn to protect us under the most dangerous and sometimes deadly circumstances imaginable, and today’s shooting reminds us of that fact."
"I ask anyone who might have information about the shooting or the suspect to please call 911."
Milwaukee Alderman Robert Puente
"The shooting this morning of a Wauwatosa police detective near N. 60th St. and W. Good Hope Rd. has drawn a massive law enforcement response to the 9th Aldermanic District. My thoughts and prayers go out to the officer who was shot and his family."
"I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of the law enforcement agencies involved in the ongoing search for the shooter, including Police Departments of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, and Brown Deer, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department, FBI, ATF and any other agencies. I ask all residents to cooperate with officers and to call 911 immediately if they have any information about the shooter or the incident."
"As a retired longtime Milwaukee police officer and commander, I know well the daily hazards and risks that go hand in hand with being a sworn member of law enforcement. Officers risk their lives on a daily basis in the line of duty, and those looking for the suspect are at this very moment risking their lives for the safety of our community."
"May they complete their duty today successfully and without any harm coming to them."