MILWAUKEE (AP) – An 18-year-old man charged in the shooting of a 10-year-old girl on a Milwaukee playground told police he knew children were in the area when he fired in retaliation after a bullet whizzed by his ear, according to a criminal complaint filed Wednesday.
Sylvester Lewis of Milwaukee has been charged with first-degree reckless injury and two other felonies in the May 21 shooting that left Sierra Guyton hospitalized.
The child was playing with her 12-year-old sister when she was shot in the head. Her father previously described her as brain dead, telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “At the end of the day, I don’t think she’s going to make it.”
According to the criminal complaint, Lewis told police he was riding a bicycle by the park when he saw some men sitting on steps leading into the playground. One man accused him of stealing clothes from a woman the man had a child with, and a second man, who had a gun, threatened to kill him. Lewis said he fired after feeling a bullet go by his ear. He said he knew children and others were on the playground when he emptied his gun.
Officers arrested a second suspect in the case, a 28-year-old Milwaukee man, on Wednesday, Lt. Mark Stanmeyer said in an email. That man has not yet been formally charged.
Police Chief Edward Flynn told reporters Monday that Lewis has 15 previous arrests. Court records show he received a 12-month sentence in January 2013 for a burglary conviction but the sentence was stayed.
Online court records did not list an attorney for Lewis in the shooting case. A message left for his attorney in the burglary case was not immediately returned.
Lewis faces more than 47 years in prison if convicted on all charges.