Witnesses on road rage shooting that killed 3-year-old: 'We have to stop shooting each other'

MILWAUKEE -- After a 3-year-old girl lost her life in a road rage shooting in Milwaukee Saturday, July 13, many called for change, asking that people put the guns down. The tragedy sent shockwaves through the community.

Police, in an update on Sunday, July 14, said the case would be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office for charges against the man who was arrested shortly after the shooting.

During a vigil Saturday night, family identified the child as Brooklyn Harris, and said she just turned 3 on July 1.

FOX6 spoke with witnesses, working to process this crime with heavy hearts.

Randall Diggs

"You don't need to settle no dispute with a weapon -- a gun," said Randall Diggs.

Diggs said he first worried for his mother, who dodged bullets on their front lawn.

"She says the bullets flew past her. She said she could actually sense it. She was in the crossfire," said Diggs.

Police said the shooting that put Diggs' mother in danger ripped apart another family.

Police said around 8:35 a.m., two vehicles almost collided near 42nd and Concordia. The driver of the vehicle with the victim inside drove away from the scene, and someone inside the other vehicle began shooting into the rear of the vehicle with the victim inside. One of those shots struck 3-year-old Brooklyn Harris.


Crash near 26th and Walnut after 3-year-old shot near 42nd and Concordia

Crash near 26th and Walnut after 3-year-old shot near 42nd and Concordia

3-year-old Brooklyn Harris killed in road rage shooting near 42nd and Townsend

Not long after the shots were fired, police spotted a vehicle that they believed was involved in the incident. As officers tried to get behind the vehicle, they lost sight of the vehicle due to its speed. The driver lost control and crashed near 26th and Walnut. Officers then saw someone fleeing on foot.

As police processed the scene, they heard a broadcast from a few blocks away. After containment and search of an area a few blocks west, officers took the man who fled on foot into custody.

Man arrested near 28th and Galena in shooting of 3-year-old Brooklyn Harris

Police said the 3-year-old girl's mother and three other children were inside the vehicle during the shooting. A 1-year-old, a 2-year-old, and a 4-year-old were also inside the vehicle during the shooting.

"Senseless. Senseless killing. She didn't deserve that," said Diggs.

After the crash near 26th and Walnut, a witness said he saw the man who was later arrested crawl through a backyard fence -- changing his shirt before he scaled another fence to try to escape.

"I look outside through my window, and I saw the guy," the witness said. "He tried to take the shirt out from his friend."

As these witnesses and others tried to process the heartbreaking loss, many shed tears, and called on others to put the guns down.

"We have to stop shooting each other. Practice love. Stop shooting these babies out here," said Diggs.

Brooklyn Harris' death was  the most recent of a young child in southeastern Wisconsin in recent weeks.

On June 22, a 5-year-old boy in Milwaukee died after prosecutors say his father punched him because he ate some of the cheesecake the man had gotten for Father's Day. The father is charged with reckless homicide.

Another 5-year-old boy died in Milwaukee after authorities say he found a gun inside a home and killed himself. A 25-year-old man is charged with neglecting a child resulting in the June 18 death.

Authorities say a boy also 5 fatally shot himself on June 17 with a gun he found at a home in Kenosha, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Milwaukee. He died at a hospital after being left there. Two men, both 24, have been charged — one of them with homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon.