MILWAUKEE (AP) — A West Allis man has been charged making false statements to a firearms dealer for allegedly buying the gun that was used in the shooting of a Milwaukee police officer.
Police said Emanuel Romo, 24, was charged with making false statements among other counts.
Prosecutors say Romo bought the gun that Tomas Uriegas used to ambush Officer Brandon Baranowski last weekend as Baranowski was responding to a domestic call. Authorities say Uriegas killed himself shortly afterward.
Baranowski was wounded and released from the hospital Wednesday.
Police are still investigating how the gun ended up with Uriegas.
Romo’s attorney, Craig Powell, tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that his client had “absolutely nothing to do with the shooting of the officer.”
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn sent out a statement Friday commending the police department and the task force with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for tracing the gun to “allow us to hold accountable the individuals indirectly responsible for wounding our officer.”
The Journal Sentinel reports that, according to the criminal complaint, Romo bought the Ruger .22-caliber handgun from the Shooters Shop in West Allis on Jan. 31, 2014, and gave it to a third party who couldn’t legally buy a gun. The gun changed hands at least twice before it reached Uriegas, who likely could not have a gun because he had a pending felony case and a history of drug charges.
Romo has no criminal history. Court records show he appeared in court Thursday and a judge ordered that his location be monitored.
Authorities have said that Milwaukee police responded to two domestic violence property damage calls involving Uriegas just before Baranowski was shot last weekend. Uriegas was not there at either time, but he returned while officers were still on the scene investigating the second call.
Baranowski was in the driver’s seat of his squad car when Uriegas approached the passenger side and fired, police said.