Police: Pursuit, crash in NW Milwaukee tied to warehouse shooting

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office was called to the scene of a pursuit and crash on Milwaukee's northwest side Wednesday morning, March 17.

Police said the pursuit is directly related to the shooting at Roundy's Distribution Center in Oconomowoc. A union official has since identified the shooter as Fraron Cornelius, 41, of Wauwatosa -- one of three dead.

Officials said a suspect vehicle was pursued from Roundy's into Milwaukee County, and a shooting near 68th and Appleton is also related to the incident. 

The pursuit came to an end near 92nd and Townsend. The since-identified shooter is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

The union official said all three men were employees at the warehouse for more than two decades. Union representative Thomas Bennett was emotional after hearing two fellow union members were shot and killed.

"When I first heard what happened, it really struck me -- it hit me hard. It really did," Bennett said. "It’s hard to determine what triggers an individual to go to that extent."

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In a statement, Roundy's said it is working to provide counseling services to its employees and that they are cooperating with law enforcement.

Milwaukee police will be investigating the crash. The investigation is ongoing. 

Neighborhood on notice

Kenny Peete lives near where the pursuit ended and works at the Oconomowoc warehouse. He told FOX6 News he learned about the shooting via text message.

"I was laying down at the time and I had gotten a couple of text messages not to come into work because it was on lockdown," Peete said.

Neighbors tell FOX6 News this is a quiet neighborhood and they were woken up by the large police presence and a possible gunshot. 

"I was getting ready for work and then I heard a bunch of sirens followed by a loud bang which sounded like a gunshot. And then I had asked my wife if she had heard it. She said yes and we both agreed it was a gunshot," said Cody Filbrandt, neighbor. 

Another neighbor told FOX6 he heard the crash and ran downstairs, seeing the suspect get out of the car and onto their knees before hearing a gunshot. 

"My wife and I can only imagine what’s happening with the employees and with the victims and especially the victim of or the families of the victim here," said Austin Duerr, neighbor.

Search warrant executed in Wauwatosa

Wauwatosa police said they were made aware of the in Oconomowoc early Wednesday morning; Oconomowoc police requested assistance locating a possible suspect at the time.

The suspect vehicle was located around 4:45 a.m. and Wauwatosa police alerted area squads. A pursuit ensued, ending in Milwaukee with the crash.

As the investigation continued, Wauwatosa police learned the shooter was a Wauwatosa resident. Officers assisted the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, the lead investigating agency, in executing a search warrant at that residence. 

Police blocked off the road leading to the residence on 124th Street for a few hours.

Molly Slaber, who lives on 124th, found it odd that police were in her driveway when she left for work Wednesday morning. Her section of the street was blocked off as officers searched Cornelius' home.

"It’s tragic. I mean any shooting is tragic. I think everybody has their breaking point, and unfortunately, that seems to have been what happened," Slaber said. "It’s just hard that other people lost their lives and he lost his life as well."

This is a developing story. More information is expected to be released Thursday morning.


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