West Allis fatal shooting; teen arrested in boy's death
WEST ALLIS, Wis. - A Milwaukee teen has been arrested and charged for the Feb. 25 West Allis fatal shooting of 12-year-old Ronnel Smith at Bug n Out Lounge.
Lawrence Griffin, 17, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety and possession of a firearm by a felon.
The owner of Bug n Out Lounge said it happened during a 17-year-old girl's birthday celebration in the hall upstairs – a separate venue from the bar.
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When the gunfire stopped, police said two people were hit. Smith died at the scene, and a 17-year-old boy was taken to the hospital.
According to a criminal complaint, surveillance from inside showed the crowded party. In the video, prosecutors say Griffin is seen trying to take Smith's glasses. Griffin didn't get them and then pulled out a gun and pointed it at Smith.
Lawrence Griffin; Ronnel Smith; 57th and Lincoln homicide scene, West Allis
The crowd cleared, per the complaint, and Griffin moved toward Smith – grabbing him by the wrist and then shooting him. Griffin then turned and ran out of the building. A single bullet casing was found.
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Police spoke to the 17-year-old victim at the scene. The complaint states he showed officers a "fresh" gunshot wound and the bullet appeared lodged under his skin. He was one of dozens of people at the party who were in the line of fire.
On March 3, Milwaukee police pursued a car for unrelated reasons and a passenger, Griffin, ran off. He was later arrested and police gathered items that he discarded as he ran, the complaint states. Among those items were a gun and magazine which were sent to the crime lab for further analysis.
Griffin made his initial appearance in court Saturday, March 11. Cash bond was set at $250,000.