On the crisp and clear morning of Tuesday, October 4th; the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) was conducting surveillance on a home just below Villard Avenue, on Milwaukee’s north side.(1)
The MPD had secured a search warrant for a 29-year-old named Wallace Juniel. Wallace was targeted under suspected possession of illegal firearms, and also the intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.(2)
Just before noon that Tuesday, Wallace left the house being watched, got in a vehicle and drove off. The MPD followed him, and quickly moved to pull him over.(3) Wallace pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road, waited for the police to exit their vehicle and approach him.
Then, he took off. Wallace fled, initiating a police chase in a residential neighborhood.(3) During the short pursuit, Wallace sped through stop signs and drove at over twice the posted legal speed.(1)
Wallace then ran a red light, and quickly crashed his vehicle into that of an uninvolved civilian’s.(1)(3)
At that point, Wallace exited his vehicle, and proceeded to flee from the police on foot.(3)
Moments later, a second vehicle appeared from behind the police who were pursuing Wallace. This second vehicle, as it happens, had also just left from the house where Wallace was under surveillance.(1)
Behind the wheel of the second vehicle was Indira Juniel, Wallace Juniel’s sister.(1)
As police were actively pursuing her brother on foot in the street, Indira accelerated, and intentionally hit and ran over one of the MPD officers.(1)
As Indira speed off from the scene, another officer opened fire on her and her vehicle, firing several rounds as his fellow officer was laid out in the street, fighting for his life.(1)
The civilian in the car hit by Wallace lived, but was hospitalized with injuries.(3)
Somewhat miraculously, the police officer who Indira mowed down in the street with her own car survived as well. But as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, “The officer who was struck was stiff, unconscious and unresponsive; his eyes were open but rolled back in his head and his breath was deep and labored.”(1)
Wallace Juniel, after ignoring a traffic signal at high speed and crashing into a civilian, was in fact apprehended by police shortly after the foot chase in which his sister ran over one of the police officers who was chasing him.(1)
During the foot chase, Wallace ditched a gun he was illegally carrying. The illegal gun was recovered, and Wallace, who resisted arrest down to the last minute, was successfully taken into custody at gunpoint.(1)(3)
Wallace’s sister Indira, however, successfully fled the scene of the crime in which she had just attempted to murder a police officer. (1)
I happened to be driving very close to where this mess all took place at the time it happened. Remember this was around noon on a Tuesday. Three squad cars sped past me in close succession, lights and sirens blazing. They were followed by an ambulance not far behind.
I soon ended up forced to divert my path, as Villard Ave was completely blocked off for several blocks in multiple directions, centered around 40th St. I parked my car and walked over to the edge of the yellow tape line to observe the aftermath of what had just happened.
As soon as I got out of my car, multiple MPD officers, on foot, sprinted from inside to outside of the yellow tape line, got in their cars, and sped off, eastbound.
Across the street were two different groups of 5-6 Black men standing in semi-circles, hands in their pockets, milling about and likely discussing what had just transpired.
On the sidewalk, I was met by a 50-something White man in a neon yellow Department of Public Works (DPW) t-shirt. He approached me and asked, “Did you just see that? Right as we were walking up (to the corner we’re standing on) there were a ton of shots that just popped off over there!” He points his finger east of where we’re standing. “That’s what they were all running after.” He noted with a tone of astonishment.
I saw the cops running, but somehow I didn’t hear the shots.
“Oh, look at this!” The DPW man continues. “Here come the high-price guys!” He pointed with his finger at several new additional cars that were entering the yellow tape line. These specific cars are unmarked, shiny, newer, and all black. “That’s probably ATF, or DEA.” He speculated. The men leaving these vehicles were wearing dress shirts and some, even neckties.
The DPW man continued. “This is freaking crazy out here. We’ve been working in this area for a couple weeks now and there’s been multiple serious police chases around here. On one of them, I was so close, I could smell the burning rubber as they sped away.”
The DPW man wishes me well and walks away. Moments later, an overweight, White MPD officer enters the yellow tape perimeter. He’s got a bullet prove vest on over his neck, but his gut is so immense that he cannot actually close the straps on the vest, leaving it to dangle loosely, unsecured and thus very possibly ineffective if its services were actually needed.
Then a group of 2-3 Black teenagers with backpacks on approach the yellow tape line. They’re on their walk home and their path is blocked off. A White MPD officer who’s guarding this part of the perimeter says “Sorry, this is all blocked off right now. You’ll have to loop around that way.” He points his finger south. One of the teenage girls then sucks her teeth and chews him out, as if it was this individual cop’s decision for the Juniel family to initiate a high-speed police chase, smash into a civilian’s car, then try to murder a cop.
A police helicopter is circling above us. Looking into the coordained off area of Villard, one of the most prominent visuals is an old sign for a small local business called One Stop Pantry. The sign advertises that it has an ATM, and also that it accepts Quest cards.
Yet another cop arrives on the scene in an old, all black, beat up MPD squad car. This MPD officer is also significantly overweight, and as he tries to exit his vehicle, he slips on gravel in the street, narrowly avoiding a hip check to the pavement.
A Black MPD officer is wrapping up speaking with one of the groups of men standing on a corner just outside of the police tape perimeter. As he departs, he asks, “Do you call, though?” One of the men’s answers is inaudible to me. But the police officer again retorts, “But, do you call?”
As the officer leaves, I approach the group, introduce myself, and we start talking. I ask them what happened.
A man around 40-years-old by the name of S goes, “You know what ‘Doin’ a Cop’ means? That’s what happened. A cop tries to pull you over, you stop, they park and walk up, and you just take off and, take ‘em for a ride.”
Another man around 50-years-old named D speaks up. He says a cop got hit or run over by a car. From where they were standing when it happened, they could hear the screeching car tires, and then the gunshots.
While I’m talking to D, I hear S declare, “I’m filming and taking pics of every unmarked car, every undercover out here!”
S then notices a young White girl in car drive past. “She here to buy dope!” He exclaims.
Later that evening, Indira Juniel was arrested. She’s now earned herself three separate felony counts: attempted homicide, hit and run, and recklessly endangering safety.(1)
Wallace Juniel, who was arrested at the scene of the incident on Villard Ave, secured himself four felony counts of his own: fleeing (a police officer), recklessly endangering safety, bail jumping, and obstructing an officer.(1)
As it happens, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal reports that, “Wallace Juniel [already] has a felony on his record and current open felony charges, including first-degree reckless injury and first-degree recklessly endangering safety. He was out on bail after posting $3,500 last year.”(1)
Police executed a search warrant on the Juniel’s home after Wallace and Indira nearly killed a civilian and a police officer on October 4th.
Inside, they discovered James Robinson, the older brother of Wallace and Indira. James, like his brother Wallace, was already a felon prior to the events of the 4th. Searching their residence, police discovered that James was in possession of yet another illegal firearm, a new offense for which he too was then charged.(1)
Back on the scene in the immediate aftermath of the Juniel crime family’s series of decisions on October 4th, I pulled my car around to a different vantage point of the large area still coordained off by police tape. From this angle, there were no fewer than six professional TV cameras on site, filming b-roll on their stand-up tripods.
Off to the side of the cameras were three different women, presumably local news reporters, inappropriately well dressed for the neighborhood, and for the occasion. Two of them were wearing high heels, one set of which featured leopard print.
Standing behind the cameramen, looking into the scene they’re filming, you could spot a tree that had large balloons and poster paper taped to it. This is one of Milwaukee’s ubiquitous murder memorials. It’s inside today’s yellow tape line, but it has nothing to do with what happened today.
Two hours after the violent chaos the Juniel family inflicted on Villard Ave, someone shot up a public park on 21st and Keefe.(4)
Two hours and some 2.8 miles away, two of the three people shot in broad daylight were a grandmother and her young grandson.
The grandmother, with “serious injuries,” is 74-years-old. Her grandson, in “critical condition,” is 2-years-old.(4)
No arrests have been made.
1. Three siblings have been charged
2. Milwaukee officer hit by vehicle, detective fires shots
3. Milwaukee police say a car intentionally struck an officer
4. Two-year-old boy in critical condition