By Ashley Luthern
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MILWAUKEE, Wis. — A man armed with a handgun was shot and killed by police Monday morning inside the Downtown Transit Center after he had attempted to rob a motorist at gunpoint, police said.
The 56-year-old driver was at E. Michigan St. and N. Lincoln Memorial Drive around 7 a.m. when the gunman aimed the handgun at the car and tried to open the locked passenger-side door, Police Chief Edward Flynn said at a news conference.
The driver sped away, at which point the gunman fired one shot at the car, Flynn said.
The driver called 911 when he had turned a corner and circled the block to see where the shooter was.
The driver was able to provide officers with a full suspect description.
Police found the suspect on the second floor of the empty transit center, sitting on a bench and holding a gun.
After they tried to negotiate with him, his behavior became threatening, and three officers fired at him, Flynn said. Attempts to revive the man failed, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver was not hurt, and the gunman and driver didn't know each other, Flynn said. The gunman has yet to be identified.
"There are many aspects of this investigation that still need to unfold as it's still in its early stages," Flynn said.
The transit center appeared to be empty of bystanders when the shooting occurred.
The Downtown Transit Center is primarily used as a layover location for bus routes that end at the eastern end of downtown, said Jackie Janz, speaking for the Milwaukee County Transit System.
The transit center provides a bus marshaling area, layover and facilities for several routes.
It also is the proposed site of The Couture, an apartment and hotel project.
The incident Monday morning forced the closing of streets in the area, including Michigan St. east of N. Van Buren St.
The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office responded.
Other agencies seen at the site of the shooting included the Milwaukee County sheriff's office, the Milwaukee County district attorney's office and the Milwaukee Police Association.
Flynn said the district attorney's office has begun an investigation, as has the Police Department's metro investigation section of the specialized investigation division.
The Fire and Police Commission and the mayor's office were notified of the officer-involved shooting.
As is standard department policy, the three officers — ages 35, 37 and 41 — involved in the shooting havebeen placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.
The three officers collectively have more than 40 years of experience with the department.
Steve Schultze of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
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