By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
July 19, 2016
Milwaukee, WI - On Tuesday, Milwaukee Police Officer Brandon Baranowski, 31, was awarded the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) Purple Valor Award in the hospital where he is recuperating from multiple gunshot wounds that he sustained on early Sunday in Milwaukee's Southside. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn visited Officer Baranowski at the Froedtert Hospital and awarded Officer Baranowski the MPD Purple Valor Award metal.
Mayor Tom Barret called Officer Baranowski's shooting an ambush attack by a 20-year-old suspect in Milwaukee's Southside.
Officer Baranowski was shot multiple times on early Sunday in the 3500 block of S. 17th Street as he sat in his assigned police SUV after responding to a domestic violence incident regarding a woman and child. Police responded twice to the domestic violence calls, but the suspect had left.
The MPD confirmed that Tomas Angel Rivera Uriegas, 20, walked to Officer Baranowski's police SUV and fired multiple gunshots at the officer and then Rivera Uriegas fled the scene. Shortly after officers arrived at the crime scene, they heard a shot nearby and discovered Rivera Uriegas had a self-inflicted wound to the head. The suspect died, despite life saving measures taken by officers to keep Riverá Uriegas alive. Officer Baranowski was transported to the hospital for treatment.
Police recovered a handgun next to Rivera Uriegas and found unspent .22 LR Caliber cartridges at the crime scene.
Rivera Uriegas was a convicted felon as a juvenile and had been charged with one felony count for aggravated assault causing injury in April regarding the beating of his mother's live-in-boyfriend who suffered a fractured cheekbone and spinal injury, which almost completely paralyzed him. Rivera Uriegas was free on a $500 cash bail, pending the outcome of the case.
Rivera Uriegas was also convicted for a misdemeanor charge for credit card fraud and had to pay $2.6K in restitution and served 90 days in the Milwaukee County House of Corrections.
Mildred Rivera, the mother of Rivera Uriegas told CBS 58 News that her son was not a monster, but suffered from depression and was taking medication, which he recently decided not to take anymore. She says, her son was a caring person, a loving father to his surviving son and that she doesn't know what triggered her son to shoot Officer Baranowski while he sat on his police vehicle.