‘A premeditated and pre-planned targeted incident’: MPD make arrest in downtown homicide

MADISON, Wis. — Madison police say a person of interest taken into custody following Wednesday’s deadly downtown shooting is now considered a suspect.

During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes said that the suspect — who has not yet been publicly identified — will likely face a homicide charge tied to the shooting.

Another person of interest taken into custody shortly after the shooting is being held on a probation/parole violation; police did not say if that individual will face any charges tied to the shooting. Both the suspect and the other person of interest are being held in the Dane County Jail, Barnes said.

Barnes said the victim, a man in his 30s who a police described as a lifelong Madison resident, was shot shortly after leaving the jail in the 200 block of South Carol Street around 5:10 p.m. Wednesday. The victim was with a family member at the time; police did not specify if he was a former resident of the jail or if he was visiting someone inside.

“We believe that this was a premeditated and pre-planned targeted incident,” Barnes said. “We’re still working to determine a motive. It is too early to determine if this is gang-related or not.”

The shooter fired multiple rounds during the incident, and officers who responded to the scene found more than a dozen shell casings in the area, Barnes said. Officers also recovered a weapon close to the time two persons of interest were taken into custody, but authorities are still working to determine if the weapon was the one used in the shooting.

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Barnes went on to say police were able to identify the persons of interest and the vehicle involved thanks to the cooperation of multiple witnesses and footage from several city cameras in and around the area.

“It’s scary, for me, to think that this took place in a very public area where people come to live and simply work,” Barnes said.

Wednesday night, MPD officers escorted some city workers to their vehicles and provided extra patrols near the scene as an added precaution. Barnes said his department plans to do the same Thursday.

In a statement Thursday afternoon, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway decried the violence:

Last night’s tragic shooting is disturbing to our whole community. My heart goes out to the family of the victim. I urge all who witnessed the event to access mental health support if needed. Unfortunately, this high-profile homicide is part of a larger pattern of gun violence across our country. I want to thank the Madison Police Department for their quick action to aid the victim and bring a suspect into custody. I want to assure the community that our work to curb violence in our community continues. Collaborative teams that include MPD, public health, the courts and community groups are working together every day. The safety of Madison residents is our top priority, and we will continue to work to make Madison a place where everyone can thrive.

Anyone who has other information about the shooting is asked to contact the Madison Police Department at 608-255-2345 or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.