Gang-related shooting on East Side kills 19-year-old Madisonian

By Jake Begun (The Badger Herald)
April 30, 2010

Wisconsin- A shooting on the city’s east side Wednesday evening left one Madison man dead and has prompted an investigation coordinated between a number of enforcement agencies to find the suspects involved.

At approximately 9:43 p.m. Wednesday, officers from the Madison Police Department were called to the 2100 block of Fordem Avenue to reports of a 19-year-old man who had been shot, an MPD incident reported stated. The victim was transported to an area hospital and the man was pronounced dead shortly thereafter as a result of his injuries.

Initial reports from MPD said the incident did not appear to be a random act, but based on information gathered by detectives assigned to the case, the motivation behind the crime was determined to involve area gang activity.

“We believe, based on the victim’s background coupled with information we are getting from citizens, that this was gang-related,” MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said.

Witnesses on the scene reported seeing a white “boxy style” car containing four Latino males and one female leaving the scene shortly after the event. It was further described as having no hubcaps, a small spoiler and rust around the rear, right wheel well.

Detectives have identified a primary suspect in the incident, described as a Latino male, 5 feet 8 inches, 175 pounds with a stocky build and a shaved or bald head. The suspect was last seen wearing a white T-shirt, dark jeans, a shiny eyebrow piercing over his left eye and armed with a handgun.

Agencies investigating the case, including MPD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, have attempted to reach out to area residents for any information that could lead to the location and arrest of the suspect or his associates, the report stated.

DeSpain added MPD has sought to contact individuals in the Latino community for any information concerning recent gang tensions, though investigation has been impeded by fears in the community of police connections to immigration agencies.

“We’re trying to have some dialogue with members of the Latino community,” DeSpain said. “We’re letting them know we have no interest in checking their citizenship or immigration status; we simply want some more information on this case.”

The report explicitly states there is no intention to investigate immigration issues, and community members should not hesitate to contribute any relevant information that could aid the solving of the case.

DeSpain said some residents have expressed concern over possible retaliation for contributing to the investigation, but added solving this case is crucial for the continued safety of the community.

MPD intends to have a Spanish-speaking detective assigned to the case broadcast information on the La Movida Radio Station to better reach the community.

Residents with information pertaining to the case are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 266-6014. Callers may remain anonymous and may receive a cash reward for their contribution.

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