The man charged with killing Dulonden Ratliff early Saturday morning was assigned a $100,000 cash bond Monday during his initial appearance.
Christopher S. Brown, 23, of Racine, was charged Tuesday with one felony count of first degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon and two felony counts of recklessly endangering safety. If convicted, he faces up to 85 years in prison and/or up to $50,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, Racine officers were called at 1:16 a.m. to the 300 block of Main Street for a report of shots fired. When police arrived, they found Ratliff bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head. He was transported to Wheaton Franciscan St. Mary’s where he was pronounced dead.
Police say Ratliff was with a friend and his sister visiting various establishments on Main Street in Racine. When the group left Envi, 316 Main Street, the friend and the sister both say they were approached by a group of five individuals, including Brown. Someone shouted something like, “What’s up” and then one of the group swung at Ratliff. A fight ensued, during which the friend and the sister say they heard a gunshot. The other group fled, and Ratliff’s sister said that’s when she saw her brother had been shot.
Witnesses told police they saw a black male wearing a grey hoodie holding a handgun near his waist and that he fled northbound on foot after Ratliff was shot, the complaint reads.
Investigators gathered video from area businesses to confirm witness statements, and police say they were able to identify the individuals who were with Brown when the fight started. Everyone was questioned, and each individual confirmed they were walking north on Main Street when they got into a fight with Ratliff and his friend, but no reason was given for the altercation.
Brown was arrested Monday while he was at work at the Subway shop at Monument Square.
During questioning, Brown also admitted to being on Main Street with friends when they encountered Ratliff, his friend and his sister, the complaint reads. The defendant said the fight started after Ratliff’s friend asked one his friends for a light and an argument began. He also said he only pulled the gun out of his waistband to wave it around and that it just went off. After the gun went off, Brown told officers he ran home and sold the gun Sunday to someone named “Jose.”
Brown remains in the Racine County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond. He made his initial appearance Tuesday via closed circuit TV and will next be in court for a preliminary hearing on April 10.