The man shot and killed by a Milwaukee police officer Saturday was charged last year in a shooting and then charged with trying to intimidate a witness in that shooting.
Sylville Smith, 23, was fatally shot after he refused to drop a gun, which was loaded with 23 rounds, police said.
Smith had been in trouble with the law dating back at least to 2011 when he turned 18, according to arrest records released by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office late Sunday. He was arrested or ticketed nine times in that period — for the shooting, a robbery, carrying a concealed weapon, theft, possession of heroin and more. His most recent arrest was July 22 for possession of cocaine, records show. If he was arrested as a minor, that information has not been released.
Last year, Smith was charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety involving a shooting and with witness intimidation, but the charges were dismissed, court records show, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.
The charges were dropped even though the prosecutors had recorded jail calls in which Smith asked his girlfriend to pressure the victim to recant, according to court records.
The victim did file a statement recanting his identification of Smith as the shooter and wrote he was unsure who shot at him, according to Lovern, who commented Sunday on behalf of the district attorney's office. The shooting case still moved forward to a jury trial in November 2015, but the combination of the written recantation and victim’s failure to appear in court resulted in the dismissal, Lovern said.
Smith’s mother, Mildred Haynes, told the newspaper her son had recently gotten his conceal-carry license because he had been shot twice and robbed four times – and was stripped of all his clothes during one robbery.
The pistol found at the scene where Smith was shot was reportedly stolen along with 500 rounds of ammunition from an area home.