A manhunt is underway for an unidentified gunman who shot five family members as they attended the funeral for a man who was shot and killed by a police officer last month.
A funeral was being held for Da’Shontay L. King Sr at around 2.30pm Thursday at the Graceland Cemetery in Racine, Wisconsin, when police say an unnamed gunman opened fire.
It remains an ‘active shooter’ situation, police said, and the gunman remains on the loose.
King, 37, a father of four, was shot and killed by a police officer on March 20.
Police said at the time that Officer Zachary B. Brenner attempted a traffic stop as part of a firearms investigation, and King got out of his vehicle armed with a gun.
Brenner reportedly ordered him to stop and comply with commands, but police say he refused, and the cop fired. The incident was caught on body cameras.
All of the victims of Thursday’s shooting were members of King’s family, TMJ 4 reports, and they are being treated at nearby Ascension All Saints Hospital. Their conditions remain unknown, but the hospital announced that it is on lockdown ‘out of an abundance of caution.’
Racine police told residents via Twitter to avoid the scene, calling the shooting ‘a critical incident.’
They are now investigating the shooting, and are being assisted by the Racine Fire Department as well as deputies from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office, and footage from the scene showed King’s coffin had not yet been lowered into the ground.
Racine, Wisconsin police responded to a shooting at the Graceland Cemetery Thursday afternoon, where the funeral for Da’Shontay L. King Sr was being held
Footage showed that King’s casket had not yet been lowered into the ground when the shooting occurred at around 2.30pm
Racine police are seen patrolling around the Graceland Cemetery on Thursday
A Mount Pleasant police officer assisting on the scene established a crime scene area
Police blocked off the nearby roads as the investigation is continuing – and the unknown gunman remains on the loose
They urged residents to avoid the area, calling the shooting ‘a critical incident’
One of the victims of Thursdays shooting was Kendra Gamble, who is now in critical but stable condition, according to the Daily Beast.
‘She was shot at the gravesite,’ her niece, Cortaisha Thompson, 23, said.
‘We just left the hospital,’ she added. ‘She was sent on Flight For Life to Milwaukee now, they just took her there.’
The mourners on Thursday were paying tribute to King, who had been killed by Police Officer Zachary B. Brenner, who had four years of experience in law enforcement and is now on administrative leave.
Brenner was executing search warrants on ‘identified’ individuals who police say have contributed to a rise in gun violence at the time when he stopped King’s vehicle near 12th and Schiller.
Police say he got out of the car with a firearm, and when Brenner asked him to comply with orders, he refused – prompting Brenner to fire.
King was previously found guilty of recklessly endangering safety, a felony, in 2002 and was prohibited by law from carrying a firearm as a result.
He was then found guilty of being in possession of a firearm, another felony, in 2003, and was found guilty of a felony drug charge in 2006.
At the time of his death, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports, King had three criminal cases open in Wisconsin – a drug charge, being a felon in possession of a firearm again and bail jumping.
His sister, Natasha Mullen, admitted in the aftermath: ‘He had his own flaws, but that wasn’t all he was.
‘He was a great dad. His children were the highlight of his life.
‘He spent a lot [of] time with his sons.’
She added that when protesters set fire to a Community Oriented Policing building in Racine in 2020, King organized a barbecue to bring awareness and show the community needed to stand with police.
‘They’re not going to mention all the things that he has done within his community, they’ll just mention all the bad things that he’s done in his past.’
Da’Shontay King Sr, 37, a father of four, was shot and killed by a police officer last month
Those on the scene of the shooting said they heard about 20 to 30 shots, with one woman telling The Journal Times it ‘sounded like firecrackers.’
And three boys who were playing basketball at Lockwood Park, immediately west of the cemetery said they heard the gunfire just about 10 minutes after a funeral procession had passed by.
The shots pierced the fence behind them, they told the Journal Times, and they immediately started running.
Police were seen Thursday evening surveying the surrounding area, as multiple shell casings lined the street.