The February night Brittany Booker and her friend were allegedly attacked with a hammer by Terry Lee Jackson was an ordinary Sunday at George’s Tavern. Football season ended a few weeks before, so the crowd that generally filled the seats throughout the bar to cheer for the Green Bay Packers was whittled down to just a handful of regulars.
“It was a perfectly pleasant Sunday afternoon,” said a witness. “It was about as typical a Sunday as you can imagine.”
A pleasant Sunday afternoon turns dreadful
The side door of the tavern that opens to Hamilton Avenue burst open sometime between 6 and 7 p.m., and a young woman ran in covered in blood and screaming that “he” was trying to kill her. She ran around the bar and crouched in the front corner, beneath the large window facing Main Street.
After a moment of stunned silence, the witness locked the doors and turned off the lights while others rendered aid to the woman, who the witness recognized as a neighbor. The witness also realized that Jackson was most likely the perpetrator because he and the woman patronized George’s together. While someone else called 911, the young woman said something about another woman being in danger and that a young child was also involved.
According to the criminal complaint from this incident, police were called on February 27 to George’s Tavern for a report of a woman who ran into the bar with her face covered in blood. There was also mention of another woman, but her location was unknown.
“It was clear there was another woman being attacked, and a little girl might be in danger,” the witness added.
Search for the second victim and child
The witness and a man left the tavern to try and find the second woman, who is now known to have been Booker, and the little girl. They moved slowly and cautiously to avoid being taken by surprise, and as they approached the house, they could see a little girl standing in the yard, looking confused but not crying.
“She was actually pretty calm, but I’m guessing that’s because she was in shock from what she’d just seen,” they said.
The man approached the little girl, spoke softly to her, and eventually picked her up to carry her to the bar, where they would wait for the police to arrive. Together, the man and the witness returned the way they came, walking a little more quickly when Booker rounded a corner screaming and looking like she was in even worse shape than the first young woman.
“All I could think was, ‘Thank God she’s alive, and we can help her,'” the witness said. “We stopped walking at that point and took off.”
They ran back to George’s and were just a few steps from the door facing Hamilton when Booker asked about her daughter and fainted once she saw her little girl was unharmed. The witness caught Booker before she could fall and suffer additional injuries and carried her into the bar. They laid her in the spot where the first young woman had hidden under the window. She was now seated at the bar.
Police arrive at George’s Tavern
Booker suffered from severe head wounds when they arrived at George’s, and the other young woman had deep lacerations to her face. Booker had a blank stare and appeared to be going in and out of consciousness. The young woman told officers that she and Booker had returned to the home she shared with Jackson to retrieve some of her belongings when Jackson entered through the back door and started attacking the young woman, according to police.
Booker was holding her daughter and grabbed a kitchen knife to defend herself. She told officers she also tried to dial 911 but couldn’t operate her phone properly. At the same time, she held a knife and her daughter. Jackson went after her as well, and both women told police they believed Jackson was trying to kill them, the complaint continues.
The witness said that six police squads and two rescue units arrived at George’s, and a female officer took over care of the little girl. The first young woman called a close friend or family member of Booker’s to pick up the girl.
“She was obviously injured, but she was answering questions as (paramedics) prepped her for transport to the hospital,” the witness said. Booker was taken out on a stretcher while the young woman walked to the ambulance.
Both women required staples to close their wounds, police say. Booker had five injuries that needed attention.
Witnesses, police weigh in
The witness said they were surprised that police didn’t make a public statement about Jackson being wanted for attacking Booker and her friend. They said they did see something late one night about a Racine Police Department bulletin about Jackson, but not a news report.
“I feel like it was maybe the day after, I saw something about a suspect wanted, but you would have to be the kind of person who watches for those things,” they said. “I don’t understand why the police didn’t let everyone know to look out for this guy.”
Racine police Sgt. Kristi Wilcox said keeping the facts of a case – even one as violent as Jackson’s alleged assault on Booker and her friend – from the public most often results in information that leads to an arrest.
The shooting death of Brittany Booker
Booker was shot to death on Sunday, April 24, and Jackson is the only suspect in her death. He remains at large, but three women have since been arrested for their roles in helping him: two for driving Jackson to Texas after the February attack and one for driving him from Racine to Chicago the same day he killed Booker. One woman reported seeing a bulletin about Jackson at a hotel they stayed in on their way to Texas.
continue reading about this developing story
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