Milwaukee police officer shot

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Photo by Julia Abuzzahab

Campus voiced concerns about MUPD’s communication during the incident

“Marquette does these so-called safety alerts, but at the same time, if they’re not immediate responses to the students, it doesn’t really give the students on campus a feeling of what really is going on,” Daniel Liao, a senior in the College of Communication, said.

Following an incident on campus last Thursday concerns about communication from Marquette University Police Department have arisen from the campus community.

A Milwaukee Police Department officer was shot Jan. 27 shortly after receiving a call about a sickly man in a vehicle at 6:27 p.m. at 21st Street and St. Paul Avenue. 

The officer approached the suspect, who was in a vehicle, for a welfare check requested by community members said Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman at a press conference Jan. 27.

The suspect then exited the vehicle and revealed he had a firearm, the police officer and suspect exchanged fire before the suspect stole the police officer’s vehicle.

The suspect then drove off and crashed into another vehicle on 17th and Clybourn. Photo by Timothy Littau

The suspect then drove off and crashed into another vehicle on 17th and Clybourn. The suspect then fled the scene and was taken into custody by MPD on 17th and Wisconsin which is near McCabe Hall, Humphrey Hall and The Commons. Those three buildings all house Marquette students.

There was no formal communication from MUPD until 7 p.m. when a safety alert was sent out that said “situation stabilized, no threat to campus.”

“I feel like the lack of response time is the majority of the problem…. 20, 30 minutes after an incident has occurred is a little too delayed, especially if an incident isn’t contained. God forbid you run into a situation where [an assailant] and you are in the same area, but you are not informed of the situation by MUPD or Eagle Eye,” Liao said.

Another MUPD alert was sent at 7:16 p.m.: “MUPD assisting MPD. No active threat to campus. Stay away from police investigation west of 16th Street.”

The third MUPD alert was sent at 8:29 p.m.: “Continued police presence on campus due to MPD investigation of non-MU incident. Situation is stable and no active threat to campus.” 

There was no additional information about what the “situation” was.

Nathan Koch, a first-year in the College of Engineering, said he was confused about what was happening due to the large police presence.

“It was just a crazy experience … Hopefully it doesn’t happen again,” Koch said.

Marquette University Police Chief Edith Hudson sent out a statement to the Marquette community Jan. 28 to address “rightful concern” about the situation that occurred the previous evening.

“First, I want to assure you that there was never an active threat to campus, and no one from the Marquette community was involved,” Hudson said in the statement.

Hudson said that caution tape remained at the scene after the suspect was taken into custody as it was an ongoing investigation.

The suspect has been identified as 22-year-old Jetrin Rodthong. This is the third shooting of a Milwaukee police officer in the past two weeks.

Knowing that officers are getting into situations like this, [adds] more stress and anxiety when you are coming home from classes in the afternoon,” Liao said.

Hudson also asked the Marquette community to keep the injured officer in their thoughts and prayers.

“Unfortunately, the incident involved the shooting of a Milwaukee Police Department officer, and I ask that you join me in praying for the injured officer and his family,” Hudson said in the statement.

Officer Davis was released from Froedtert Hospital in the afternoon of Friday, Jan.28. Davis sustained gunshot wounds to the stomach, chest and shoulder.

Despite the event, Joshua Ryan, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said he is grateful for police protection.

“[It was] just once in a lifetime — hopefully, a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Ryan said.

Marquette University Police Department assisted MPD at the crime scene. MPD is currently investigating the incident. 

Sarah Richardson contributed to this report.

This story was written by Timothy Littau, Julia Abuzzahab and Megan Woolard. They can be reached at timothy.littau@marquette.edu, julianna.abuzzahab@marquette.edu and megan.woolard@marquette.edu