Waukesha home 'shot up,' 2 men charged

Juan Rodriguez; Gerardo Diaz Palma

Two Waukesha men are charged with multiple counts in connection to a Feb. 6 shooting.

Prosecutors accuse Juan Rodriguez, 20, and Gerardo Diaz Palma, 21, of being involved after a home was "shot up" on Grandview Boulevard.

Police were called to a duplex near Grandview and Madison around 7:45 a.m. in regard to a "suspicious person/suspicious occurrence." The caller said they believed that their home had been "shot up in the middle of the night."

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Residents told police that they heard a "loud bang" in the middle of the night, but did not believe it was gunfire. One resident said they looked outside at the time, but did not see anything. Five people were inside at the time, and no one was injured.  

At the scene, residents showed police the bullet holes. On Grandview, officers found six bullet casings in the street. According to a criminal complaint, those six shots were fired into the front yard, between the duplex's two front doors, through the side of one of the front doors, through the gutter, between two second-floor windows and into the attached garage's door frame. A police analysis determined that the shots were likely fired while moving, possibly from a vehicle in a drive-by fashion.

Scene near Grandview and Madison

Shooting investigation, bar fight

Through their investigation, police learned the shooting may have stemmed from a bar fight. In that fight, one person was taken to the hospital and one person was arrested. The person who was arrested, the complaint states, lived near the shot-up duplex.

Believing the fight and shooting may have been related, police went to the hospital to speak to the fight victim. There, they learned several people had tried to visit him but were denied entry due to visitor policies. Surveillance captured seven potential visitors arrive and leave, traveling in three different vehicles. 

A witness to the bar fight told police that the shooting was "a direct result" of the fight, and multiple witnesses identified a possible shooting suspect. In the surveillance video from the hospital, someone matching the witness' description of the shooting suspect was spotted among the group That person was later identified as Rodriguez. 

Diaz Palma statements

In a Mirandized interview with police, Diaz Palma allegedly said that he was driving and Rodriguez was in his front passenger seat after a group of people had gone to visit the fight victim in the hospital.

According to the complaint, Diaz Palma said Rodriguez told everyone in the car that he, Rodriguez, "wanted to shoot up" the fight suspect's house which, again, was determined to be nearby the shot-up duplex. Rodriguez said, per Diaz Palma, that he knew where the house was.

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A short time later, the complaint states, Rodriguez told Diaz Palma to slow down – and Rodriguez leaned out of the window and began firing shots toward a home.

Diaz Palma was among the group seen on hospital surveillance, and was allegedly present at the bar when the fight took place, the complaint states.

Rodriguez statements

Rodriguez was arrested without incident two days after the shooting following a search of his home, during which drugs and a rifle were found.

In a Mirandized interview of his own, Rodriguez said he was at the bar the night of the fight and was armed with a handgun. He denied remembering exactly what happened, the complaint states, and that he only learned of the shooting when his friends told him about it the next day.

Waukesha police

Recalling the night of the incident, Rodriguez described where he kept the gun on his person and what he was wearing – which matched the suspect described by witnesses and seen in the hospital surveillance video.

Rodriguez said he had drank an entire bottle of wine, five beers and five or six shots prior to the incident. He admitted that he knew where the fight suspect lived, and that he knew that the fight suspect had injured the fight victim at the bar. He believed he blacked out after leaving the hospital, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, he did not remember the shooting but said that everyone told him he shot up a house. He said he lost the gun and his cellphone that night, and did not know where they were. 

Charges, court appearances

In all, Rodriguez is charged with:

  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety (5 counts)
  • Discharging a firearm from a vehicle toward a building or vehicle
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Carrying a handgun where alcohol is sold and consumed
  • Possession of cocaine
  • Possession of THC

He made an initial court appearance on Feb. 10, and a judge set cash bond at $500,000. He is due back in court on Feb. 21.

In all, Diaz Palma is charged with:

  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety (5 counts, as a party to a crime)
  • Discharging a firearm from a vehicle toward a building or vehicle (as a party to a crime)

He made an initial court appearance on Feb. 10, and a judge set cash bond at $100,000. He is due back in court on Feb. 21.

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