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November 12, 2007
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Gang shootout began as revenge ambush; two Wisc. officers injured

Two susepcts opened fire on the car and its occupants, not realizing they were police officers and thinking they were Mexican Posse members.

By Dan Benson
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 Wisc. police vehicle the target of gunifre; 2 officers wounded

MILWAUKEE, Wisc. — A teenager involved in a shootout last week between rival gang members that left five people wounded, including two Milwaukee police officers, told an investigator that it began as an ambush he planned as revenge against one of the teenage victims for raping his mother years before.

Victor Veloz, 15, and Jose M. Fernandez, 24, were charged Sunday with several felonies, including first-degree attempted homicide for their role in the incident that occurred near the corner of S. 12th and W. Madison streets Tuesday.

Fernandez appeared Sunday before Milwaukee County Court Commissioner Barry Slagle, who set bail at $500,000. Fernandez remains in Milwaukee County Jail.

Veloz, who is charged as an adult, remains at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin recovering from his wounds, Slagle said.

According to the criminal complaint, Veloz told police he and Fernandez, members of the Latin Kings gang, opened fire at two members of the Mexican Posse gang, aged 15 and 16, near the corner of 12th and Madison streets because he believed one of them had raped his mother.

Veloz and Fernandez had fired more than 20 shots from two 9-millimeter pistols, wounding the other two teens, when they left the scene and were confronted a couple blocks away by an unmarked police squad car containing two officers.

Veloz and Fernandez opened fire on the car and its occupants, not realizing they were police officers and thinking they were Mexican Posse members, Veloz told police.

In the exchange of gunfire, two officers -- Alejandro J. Arce, 26, and Jose Angel Lopez III, 31, -- were hit, as was Veloz. The unmarked police squad car was also hit by several bullets.

Arce was wounded in the groin and was treated last week at Froedtert Hospital. He had been released as of Sunday.

Lopez, shot in the shoulder, was treated and released the day of the shooting.

Of the other two victims, the 15-year-old was shot in the leg and the 16-year-old was wounded in the upper chest, left elbow and left thigh.

The 16-year-old's wounds were considered life threatening and he was last known to be in critical condition at Children's Hospital, according to the complaint.

Veloz was shot in the left upper thigh, in the right buttocks, the upper left arm and the left ankle, according to the complaint. His condition was not released Sunday.

Fernandez had purchased the guns -- one of which had a 30-round clip -- legally from Badger Guns in West Milwaukee, Milwaukee Police Chief Nannette Hegerty said.

According to the complaint, Veloz told police that he had spent "the last couple years" waiting to catch "MP Tony" and wanted "to paralyze or harm" him.

Police searched Fernandez and found a plastic bag containing more than 25 grams of cocaine, 12.5 grams of marijuana and a set of car keys belonging to a car parked nearby that had been reported stolen, according to the complaint.

Inside the car were a box of ammunition, a digital scale, nearly 26 grams of marijuana, $1,557 in cash and several prescription narcotics.

Veloz is charged with four counts of first-degree attempted homicide while armed with a dangerous weapon. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 65 years imprisonment.

Fernandez is charged with two attempted homicide counts.

Veloz also is charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety, a felony with a maximum penalty of 12 years and 6 months, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a juvenile, a misdemeanor for which he could be sentenced to 9 months in jail.

Besides the homicide charges, Fernandez is charged with possession of cocaine with intent to deliver, for which he could be imprisoned 6 years, and selling or lending a gun to a person under the age of 18, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of three and a half years in prison.

Copyright 2007 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Full story: Gang shootout began as revenge ambush; two Wisc. officers injured






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