MILWAUKEE (AP) — Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a man suspected of killing a 3-year-old girl in what Milwaukee police say was an act of road rage.
Antonio Bratcher is accused of firing a gun from his sport utility vehicle into another vehicle Saturday morning after a collision almost occurred on Milwaukee’s north side. The other vehicle had four young children inside. Brooklyn Harris was killed by the gunfire.
Police said Bratcher fled the scene, was pursued by officers and crashed his car. They eventually found him hiding under a porch, prosecutors said.
Bratcher, 39, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide and five counts of recklessly endangering safety. Bond had not been set for Bratcher, who was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. Court records don’t list an attorney for him.
An adult passenger who was in the car with the 3-year-old told police the SUV followed them for a short distance before a gunshot was fired through their rear window. The woman said that’s when she saw Brooklyn “had fallen over in the rear seat and was in obvious distress.” She said the other children were told to take cover on the rear floorboards of the car.
Prosecutors said in charging documents that Bratcher continued following the car and at one point stopped his SUV so he could shoot at the other vehicle twice more from his open driver’s side window.
Two other children have been fatally shot in southeastern Wisconsin in recent weeks. Another died after being physically assaulted, authorities said.
On June 22, a 5-year-old boy in Milwaukee died after prosecutors say his father punched him because he ate some of the cheesecake the man had gotten for Father’s Day. The father is charged with reckless homicide.
Another 5-year-old boy died in Milwaukee after authorities say he found a gun inside a home and killed himself. A 25-year-old man is charged with neglecting a child resulting in the June 18 death.
Authorities say a boy also 5 fatally shot himself on June 17 with a gun he found at a home in Kenosha, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Milwaukee. He died at a hospital after being left there. Two men, both 24, have been charged — one of them with homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon.