A 30-year-old man was charged Monday with first-degree intentional homicide in the fatal shooting of Milwaukee Police Officer Michael J. Michalski.
Jonathan Copeland Jr. is accused of shooting Michalski once in the head as the officer climbed a rear staircase and Copeland emerged from a pile of clothing, according to a criminal complaint.
Michalski's body camera recording went black when he fell forward.
Investigators believe Copeland had run upstairs to escape officers with the Special Investigations Division who had come to arrest him on drug and domestic violence offenses Wednesday.
When he found the upper door locked, Copeland hid silently for more than 10 minutes in a pile of clothing on a landing until Michalski closed in.
Copeland is also charged with two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide for shooting at Officer Travis Jung and Detective Jason Rodriguez.
After shooting Michalski, Copeland fired out a window at officers outside, the complaint states. One returned fire, caused Copeland to withdraw from the window. Copeland threw a .45-caliber handgun to the ground. It was empty.
Officers then heard Copeland yelling that his hands were up and not to shoot him.
According to the complaint, Copeland had texted his wife earlier Wednesday, warning that he would shoot police if they came after him. She had called police two days earlier to report Copeland's threats to shoot up her house for not paying him for an unspecified expense.
"Police cant save u fyi," he wrote, adding that he would shoot at police if she continued to contact them.
The complaint says that on the way to the hospital, Copeland told another officer accompanying him, "I will take it (a service weapon) off your waist and put one in the back of your head too."
Copeland, a felon, has a long criminal record stretching back to his teens. As of Monday, he was in custody at the Milwaukee County Jail on $750,500 bail.
According to information provided by Milwaukee police, officers spotted Copeland as they approached a house on North 28th Street, near West Wright Street, about 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Michalski, a 17-year Police Department veteran, died from his injuries at Froedtert Hospital. He was 52.
Copeland was not wounded.