Police Identify Teens Fatally Shot by Janitor

Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 13, 2014

Two teenagers allegedly shot to death by a maintenance worker at a west side apartment building were identified by Milwaukee police Thursday as Anmarie Miller, 17, and James Bell Jr., 19, both of Milwaukee.

The 39-year-old man accused of shooting the two Wednesday afternoon while he was being beaten with a baseball bat is being held in the Milwaukee County Jail on possible homicide charges.

The shootings were reported about 1 p.m. Wednesday at an apartment building in the 1400 block of N. 27th St.

Police said an argument occurred between the janitor and three people: the teens and a 20-year-old man.

The argument in the apartment stairwell led to a physical altercation, during which the maintenance worker was being held while one of the three beat him with the bat, officials said Wednesday.

The janitor then drew a gun and fired, shooting the two teens, police said.

He was hospitalized for injuries related to the bat-beating and has since been released.

{snip}

The man who was with the teens is being held in jail on a potential substantial battery charge, Milwaukee police said Thursday.

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[Editor’s Note: The local Fox affiliate notes that the shooter “has a concealed carry permit and was in legal possession of the gun.” The station also reported:

At the door to the apartments where the shooting occurred on Wednesday, on Thursday, Bob Braun talked with FOX6 News about his friend, who is now behind bars.

“I know him to be a peaceful person. He’s lived and worked in the inner city for 10 years as a maintenance man,” Braun said.

Since he hasn’t been charged in the case, FOX6 News is not naming the maintenance worker, but police say he was changing the locks at the apartment building near 27th and Vliet when he and the teens began to argue.

Investigators say the teens, along with a 20-year-old man, held the maintenance worker down and beat him with a baseball bat.

“Apparently, these people were mad that a friend of theirs was getting evicted.  They thought – apparently – that he was the manager,” Braun said.

That’s when police say the maintenance man pulled out a gun and shot the 19-year-old and 17-year-old.

Braun believes the shooting was in self-defense.

{snip}

Sources tell FOX6 News the maintenance worker has asked for a lawyer while in custody — and as of Thursday morning, he had not provided a statement to police.

FOX6 News is told the incident cannot be considered self-defense until a statement is given.

Flynn says we may even hear an argument for the Castle Doctrine.

“The Castle Doctrine says you can use force presumptively if it`s your home, car or business. Now, this is where he worked,” Flynn said.

We are also told the fight and shooting were captured on video.

{snip}]

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