Waukesha police, along with the Waukesha Sheriff's Department and the Milwaukee County Bomb Squad were on the scene near St. Paul and <runtime:topic id="PLGEO100100802013900">Kensington</runtime:topic> in Waukesha for about four hours Tuesday night, where the neighborhood was evacuated as officials investigated and eventually detonated an improvised explosive device.
Police say they received a call a little after 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, from the friend of 35-year-old Chad Cross, saying he was suicidal and she was concerned. The woman lives in the 800 block of Manor Drive and tells FOX6 Cross, his roommate and the woman's eight-year-old son stopped at the residence Tuesday night to pick up Cross' roommate's daughter. The woman apparently went inside to call 911, hoping she could drive Cross to a hospital. However, when she told the 911 operator Cross was armed, police had to respond.
When police arrived on the scene, they say Cross was getting out of a car parked in a driveway. They say Cross walked up the sidewalk and shot himself in the chest with a muzzle-loaded gun, and dropped a package containing the improvised explosive device.
The Milwaukee Bomb Squad was on the scene Tuesday night, and their robot was used to determine that Cross was deceased. Police say the man was not responding to any police commands at all Tuesday night after they initially made contact with him and he fired the gun.
Officials evacuated the area and sealed off several blocks for about four hours Tuesday night as they investigated this situation. Eventually, around 11:30 Tuesday night, police used the Milwaukee Bomb Squad robot to detonate the explosive device, moving it up against a neighbor's driveway retaining wall to buffer the explosion. Milwaukee Bomb Squad officials say it was a legitimate and dangerous device, and there was a real threat to those living nearby.
Waukesha Sheriff's Captain Ron Oremus says there are a lot of nursing homes and apartment buildings in the area, and officials advised residents to either stay in their basements, or evacuate the area during the incident.
"For a suicide to get to this level, where you're dealing with the threat of a bomb, and in this case, not just a threat, but an actual explosive device, is very unusual. Thankfully, he did not try to take other onlookers or people he was with down with him, or any officers on the scene," Captain Oremus said.
The man's friend told officials Tuesday night that Cross apparently had an interest in explosives, and investigators say they located what is believed to be bomb-making materials at Cross' apartment.