MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas held a news conference on Thursday, May 26 to address Tuesday evening’s pursuit by deputies of a reckless driver and the fatal vehicle crash that followed.
A Milwaukee father of seven, Teion Cooper, died after his SUV was hit by that fleeing reckless driver near 37th and Sheridan. Law enforcement said the reckless driver was trying to get away from deputies, blowing a stop sign and hitting the SUV Cooper was driving.
"There were points in the pursuit where our vehicles, our sheriff's vehicle was traveling over 90 miles an hour. It has yet to be determined the speed at which the striking vehicle was traveling," Sheriff Lucas said.
The deputies who were involved in this pursuit crashed into an unoccupied vehicle prior to and just a few blocks away from the fatal crash. They are described as a 26-year-old male with two years of service – and a 32-year-old male with three years of service. Neither was hurt in this incident. Each has been placed on administrative duty.
Family said Cooper’s wife, Barbara Thomas, and daughter, Miracle, were hurt, but are expected to survive. The three were headed shopping when they were hit.
Sheriff Lucas offered condolences to Cooper's family.
"Doing nothing but going about his business that afternoon when the senselessness and recklessness in our community took his life and injured two others and left a stain in our community," Lucas said.
Two males are being sought in connection with this fatal crash. Milwaukee police said they know who they are looking for, but the reckless driver is not in custody.
Amid the grief of the moment, the sheriff said there was goodness on display at the scene of the crash.
"There was a point that struck me and some of the findings that I made," Lucas said. "There were citizens that responded to the aid of victims – and particularly the 18-month-old child – comforting that child. And for this sheriff, and for anyone, that tells you something about the people of this community – that they care."
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe online fundraiser for Cooper has been established.
The Milwaukee Police Department is now the lead agency investigating this incident. Dash camera video was captured up until the point at which the deputy's squad struck an unoccupied vehicle in the pursuit. It is unclear whether that video will be released to the public.