A 25-year-old Milwaukee man was charged with two offenses: he loaded a gun in the Golda Meir Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office charged Elmo Daniels with one count of carrying a concealed weapon and one count of carrying a firearm in a public building.
According to the criminal complaint filed on Monday, Daniels told officers he was in the library to “do drugs in the back” and “use Wi-Fi,” adding that he sometimes sleeps in the facility. When asked if he had any other intentions, he replied: “I was just getting high,” the complaint says.
Daniels told officers he did not have a concealed carry permit, but it was against state law to bring a firearm into a university building, regardless of the status of the permit.
UWM police said they were notified at 13:54 on March 16 that a man was loading a firearm on the library’s third floor. Upon the officers’ arrival, the woman, identified only by the initials RB, told the officer that she was sitting on the third floor when Daniels waved at her and walked past her several times, the complaint said.
Shortly thereafter, the woman says she watched Daniels load the gun by inserting the magazine into the magazine well. The woman said she never saw Daniels again after he loaded the gun.
According to the complaint, about an hour after Daniels was seen loading a gun, he was taken into off-campus custody on East North Avenue at North Commerce Street near Riverview Dormitory. A UWM police spokesman said on Tuesday that police were able to use a “reliable surveillance camera system” and confirmed that Daniels left campus shortly after leaving the library.
Police found a handgun loaded with a round in the chamber and a magazine in a magazine inside Daniels’ fanny pack, and found a second magazine with 14 live rounds, the complaint said. Police also reported the discovery of two blue pills believed to be either methamphetamine or fentanyl.
Daniels admitted, “Yes, that’s my firearm. I have a lot of firearms,” the complaint says. When asked how many firearms he had, Daniels replied: “A lot, but it’s none of your business,” the complaint says.
The university did not inform library staff of the situation until the following morning. A UWM police spokesman said the agency is awaiting confirmation of the details. An employee told the Sentinel magazine last week that he was “shocked” by the way the university handled communications.
In addition to library staff, the incident sparked a reaction from students after the university decided not to sound an alarm and not evacuate the building, despite reporting by a man with a gun, stating that the man had left the building by the time the officers arrived. The university also never sent an email to the entire campus after the incident, informing students and staff of what had happened.
“During the incident, at no time did a person indicate an intent to unload a weapon or threaten violence against anyone,” UWM police said on Tuesday.
“If a message poses a persistent threat to the security of our community, we send out a RAVE alert and provide instructions on how to proceed. Because the man was off campus by the time police were notified and the incident was resolved within minutes of that. notification, UWM did not issue a RAVE warning or a campus-wide message.”
If found guilty on both counts, Daniels could be fined up to $20,000 and imprisoned for up to 1.5 years.
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This article originally appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Golda Meir Library Shooter in Milwaukee Says He Wants to Take Drugs.