'Lost for words:' Family of man police said shot, wounded MPD officer disputes his suicide

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police said a gunman turned his weapon on himself after an MPD officer was shot and wounded shortly after a pursuit ended in a crash near 29th Street and Teutonia Avenue early Tuesday, Feb. 4. The 24-year-old man's family said otherwise when FOX6 News spoke with them in the hours after the incident.

According to police, around 1 a.m., officers attempted to stop a reckless driver near Teutonia and Roosevelt Drive. The driver fled before crashing into a pole near 29th Street and Teutonia. Three people got out of the vehicle and fled on foot.

"Officers gave chase," said David Salazar, MPD. "At that time, a suspect fired at one of our officers or two of our officers, striking one" near 27th and Fairmount Avenue.

The officers returned fire. Two of the fleeing men, ages 31 and 26, were taken into custody. Around 2 a.m., officers located the third man in the garage near 27th and Fairmount. Police said his firearm was recovered at the scene.

Tamikia Green

Neighbors captured video of the final moments of the life of the man family identified as Major Artis, a Milwaukee native, and beloved father of seven.

"This hit really, really, really hard for us," said Tamikia Green, Artis' cousin.

Family said they don't believe Artis would take his life.

"I just can't see that happening," said Green. "The real situation and what actually happened that morning will come out."

Police said the officer who was shot, a 32-year-old man with a year-and-a-half of service, was treated and released. He and his partner, a 33-year-old man with a year-and-a-half of service were placed on administrative duty per policy.

"It's unbelievable," said Green. "I'm lost for words."