Six Dead In Mass Homicide In Milwaukee, Suspect Unknown

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Damir Mujezinovic

On Sunday afternoon, Milwaukee police were asked to do a welfare check at a duplex in the city's Park West neighborhood, and what they discovered was beyond disturbing.

Once they stepped inside, the officers found six people dead. Four of them were men, and one of them was a woman.

On Monday, the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office identified the victims as Charles L. Hardy, 42; Caleb A. Jordan, 23; Javoni Liddell, 31; Donta H. Williams, 44; Michelle D. Williams, 49; and Donald Smith, 43.

The office later reported an additional, sixth victim -- another male.


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As reported by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, law enforcement said Donta and Michelle Williams, as well as Donald Smith, lived at the house, while the other three victims did not.

Neighbor Alice Cartwright said she never had any issues with the tenants, and didn't even know them personally. Another neighbor said the tenants were friendly, and never caused any problems -- one of them sometimes offered to do yardwork for money.

One childhood friend described Michelle Williams as a kind person who never got into trouble.

Suspect And Motive

It remains unclear if the suspected shooter was among those found dead and, so far, the motive is unknown. However, all six deaths are being investigated as a homicide.

Dispatch records show Milwaukee police have been called to the duplex where the murders took place in recent months. In September, they responded to reports of drug dealing. In October, a 24-year-old man was killed and another man wounded in a shooting nearby.

The area is plagued by gun violence, which has risen sharply since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Sixty-five people were shot in Park West in 2020, and 45 in 2021 -- compared to 13 in 2019.

More Details Emerge

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As reported by CNN, Milwaukee Police Assistant Chief Paul Formolo explained that officers routinely respond to wellness check requests.

"Citizens of our community had concerns with the occupants that resided there and it's a normal call for us to respond to. We do it all the time," Formolo said.

"All five deaths are being treated as homicides. At this time, the motive and information regarding any involved suspects is not known to us right now," he stressed.

The city's mayor also addressed the tragedy.

Mayor Extends Condolences

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Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson issued a statement extending condolences to the victims' families and friends.

"The murders discovered today on a residential block in the heart of our city are horrific. It is important not to feel numbed by the ongoing violence in our community. A horrible crime has again occurred, and it is not a movie or a fictional account. These victims died in our city, in one of our neighborhoods," Johnson said.

"We remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce violence. We will achieve that through strengthened and improved law enforcement, through community intervention, and through a renewed commitment to prevention," he added.

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