MILWAUKEE — Authorities in Wisconsin say a police officer was shot multiple times during a welfare check Thursday night. This now marks the third Milwaukee law enforcement agency member to be shot this month.
Both the officer and the suspect in the shooting are now recovering from gunshot injuries in the hospital, police say.
Milwaukee police explained in a late-night press conference and a statement that the 26-year-old police officer was dispatched to 21st and St. Paul just before 6:30 p.m. after a caller reported a person who was slumped in a vehicle.
The officer encountered the person in the vehicle, who attempted to run away and revealed a firearm, police said.
That's when the officer and the person exchanged gunfire. Both were hit by gunfire, according to MPD.
The suspect, identified as a 22-year-old man, then got into the injured police officer's squad car and drove from the scene.
Police say he later crashed into another vehicle and continued running on foot.
WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE BELOW:
MPD says responding officers eventually took the suspect into custody "without further incident."
Officers say they found the suspect's firearm in the stolen squad car. Besides the police officer and the suspect, no one else was injured during the incident.
Community members stopped at the scene to help the injured officer. He suffered non-fatal injuries and is now in the hospital recovering. He was placed on administrative duty per protocol.
The suspect and the driver of the car he allegedly crashed into were also brought to the hospital with non-fatal injuries.
Officials said the officer has more than seven years of experience in law enforcement.
The department's homicide unit is investigating the shooting. Police say criminal charges will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office in the upcoming days.
"The Milwaukee Police Department sends our thoughts and prayers to our officer," The Milwaukee Police Department said in a statement. "We wish him a speedy recovery and are very proud of all the men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department that showed great professionalism."
Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson issued the following statement:
“I am hopeful that the Milwaukee Police officer seriously wounded by gunfire last evening will fully recover from his injuries as quickly as possible. At the time he was shot, he was doing his job skillfully and compassionately. The attack was sudden and unprovoked.
I am grateful for this officer and for all the law enforcement personnel who serve Milwaukee so professionally.
There are too many people in this community who have too easy access to guns, people who should not have them in the first place. I need for this community to wake up to the issue of gun violence. I need our partners at the state to join us to make sure that people who should not have access to guns in the first place don’t get them.
Public safety involves all of us. Police cannot do it alone.”
Former Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan also responded to the incident.
"Another Milwaukee officer shot this evening, this time near 21st & St. Paul Avenue," he posted on Facebook. "Kathy and I are praying for this hero’s survival and for their family."
A Marquette safety alert was sent to students, indicating no threat to campus.
This marks the second time a Milwaukee-area law enforcement officer was shot this week and this month's third time.
An off-duty Milwaukee police detective was shot at a Shake Shack while trying to stop a carjacking on Jan. 13.
A Milwaukee County deputy was shot multiple times after a traffic stop Wednesday morning.
Both the detective and deputy survived the attacks.