24th and homicide of Keefe, Milwaukee man charged in 2020 shooting

A Milwaukee man is charged with first-degree intentional homicide for a 2020 shooting that left one person dead in the city’s north end.

Prosecutors say James Johnson, 32, shot the victim near 24 and Keefe and fled the scene.

Police were called to the scene of the shooting around 5 p.m. on November 5, 2020. The victim was found shot dead in a vacant lot, without a pulse and without breathing. He later died of his injuries.

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An autopsy revealed that the victim had two gunshot wounds to the back and chest caused by a single bullet “fired from an intermediate distance”. The cause of death was gunshot wounds and the manner of death was ruled homicide, according to a criminal complaint.

Eight days after the shooting, police spoke to a woman who witnessed the shooting. The complaint states that she and Johnson had an argument and that she left to leave a house near the scene of the homicide.

Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office (MCMEO)

As she attempted to leave, the complaint says Johnson began punching her and pushing her to the ground – beating her with a backpack. A man she didn’t know, the complaint says, stepped in and told Johnson he “shouldn’t beat a woman.”

The complaint says Johnson entered the house and came out brandishing a shotgun, walked towards the man and shot him. Johnson ran towards the house and the woman ran towards the victim. Shortly after, the complaint says the woman noticed Johnson’s vehicle was no longer parked outside and the shotgun was missing.

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During the investigation, police also spoke to a family member of the victim. The family member said he and the victim were outside on a porch near 24th and Keefe shortly before the homicide. The family member said he went in to use the bathroom, heard gunshots and saw the victim fall into the vacant lot. He then ran towards the victim and stayed there until the police arrived.

Johnson made his first court appearance on June 1, and a judge set cash bond at $40,000. He is due back in court on June 9.

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