Suspect arrested, charged in homicide of well-known Milwaukee street vendor

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Police say a suspect has been arrested and criminally charged in connection to the homicide of a well-known street vendor on Milwaukee's south side.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Milwaukee County DA's Office issued charges against Antoine Alphonse Jr. in connection to the death of Filigonio Ramirez-Montez on Aug. 28.

Police are still looking for at least one other suspect in this case.

Police say Alphonse also robbed a Domino's delivery driver earlier that day and fired his gun during that incident.

Meanwhile, Alphonse faces homicide charges for the beloved corn vender, Don Emilio Garza, who at the time was carrying $138.

“It was a celebration for all of us who have been working really hard to try to find answers for the family and us,” says Walter Garron, a community organizer.

Garron is part of the community effort that organized a number or vigils, marches, and fundraisers for the family of Don Emilio Garza, a 52-year-old southside corn vendor.

“He’s been a member of the community for over 30 years,” says Garron. “He’s a Wisconsinite! He’s one of us here and it’s sad what happened.”

The family wished to send a message.

“They’re overwhelmed with all the support,” says Garron. “They didn’t expect so many people so they’re really happy. They want people to be safe and exercise precaution when they’re walking around by themselves.”

Alphonse was arrested September 5th after a lengthy pursuit in a stolen vehicle where he also fired a 9mm handgun as officers approached him.

Alphonse Jr. was charged with one count of first degree intentional homicide - party to a crime and one count of armed robbery - party to a crime. 

“Look at how much we’ve accomplished just being a few of us,” says Garron. “Imagine if we all come together and we start fighting for our neighborhoods, our barrios, that would be great.”

The group known as La Comuindad MKE on Facebook says Don Emilio will continue being a part of the community as he will be laid to rest in the area.

Alphonse has a bond set at $200,000.

He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for September 17th.

If convicted, he could face life in prison along with an additional 45 years in prison, and he may be fined up to $100,000.


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