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24-year-old man ambushed, gunned down in front of family at BBQ

MILWAUKEE(WISN)—A 24-year-old Milwaukee man died in a shooting Saturday afternoon near 28th and Wright streets, Milwaukee police said.

According to investigators, the shooting happened around 4:25 p.m.

The victim died at the hospital, police said.

His name has not been released by police, but the family identified him as Demetrius Holmes.

His family tells News 9 affiliate, WISN 12 News, they were at a family barbecue when Holmes was ambushed by multiple shooters.

“Four guys came out of the gangway and they just started gunning at the porch at my son,” said Howard Harris, the victim’s father. “All I can do is cover my four year old and watch them as they shot my baby.”

Harris said the fatal shooting happened in front of him and the rest of Holmes’ family, including his grandmother, two brothers, sister and step-mother.

“I seen a young man come across the street and get in the middle of the street and say, ‘You can’t run now, I got you,’ and he just started shooting,” said Ezelyn Harris, Holmes’ grandmother.

Ezelyn said she was standing next to Holmes when it happened and that they had just finished calling his young son.

“I seen my grandson (get) hit (by) the first bullet to the last bullet. He started shaking and rubbing his chest and saying, ‘Listen Granny, I can’t breathe,’ and I’m like, ‘Hold on baby, hold on, just hold on for Granny,’ and he [opened] his eyes up and that was it. He was holding my leg.”

On Sunday, family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil outside Luxury Ink, the tattoo parlor where Holmes worked.

Harris told WISN 12 News that his son was a talented, aspiring tattoo artist who was always working on his craft.

He ended Sunday’s vigil with a plea to end gun violence in Milwaukee’s streets.

“Anybody can pick up a gun. They’ve shown 3-year-olds can pick up a gun and shoot themselves. It rakes a wise man with a gun to make a smart decision to say, ‘My gun is for protection.'” Harris said. “Not to be running around out here, with my chest poked out like I’m the toughest guy walking around in the city. It’s for protection, to protect your family, protect your home. Not to go out and take innocent lives.”

Milwaukee police said the homicide unit was working to identify the shooter or shooters in this incident.

Chase McNamara

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