This story has been updated to identify the suspect in this incident and include details of their initial appearance in court Wednesday. As of 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, this story has also been updated to include information on the misdemeanor case against Michael W. Lorberter. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, this story has been updated to include an emailed response to questions received from Kenosha Police Department. This story has been updated further as of 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning, Oct. 15, to include further comments from the Kenosha Police Department.

– The Uptown Observer Editor-In-Chief Daniel Thompson

KENOSHA ⏤ Kenosha Police arrested a man Tuesday morning in response to a shooting on Sheridan Road widely seen in video online. 

In a hearing via Zoom Wednesday afternoon, the man ⏤ identified in court as Michael W. Lorberter, 63, of Kenosha ⏤ received a $100,000 cash bond in a felony case resulting from Monday’s shooting incident.

In a parallel misdemeanor case stemming from a different incident, Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner Larry Keating gave Lorberter a $10,000 cash bond.

In the felony case, Lorberter is charged with criminal damage to property, a misdemeanor; disorderly conduct-use of a dangerous weapon; intentionally point firearm at person, a misdemeanor; second-degree recklessly endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon, a felony; and first-degree recklessly endangering safety-use of a dangerous weapon.

In the misdemeanor incident, involving a separate altercation near or in Union Park Tavern, Lorberter is charged with intentionally pointing a firearm at a person, carry handgun-alcohol sold/consumed; operate a firearm while intoxicated; carry a concealed weapon; and disorderly conduct-use of a dangerous weapon.

KPD media release

According to a media release, Kenosha Police responded to Sheridan Road near Seventh Avenue, right outside of La Fogata Mexican Grill, 3300 Sheridan Rd., around 8 p.m. Monday. Initial reports indicated that there had been a crash and shots fired at the scene.

Officers focused their efforts on finding Lorberter’s vehicle. Video shows that vehicle to be a light-colored minivan. Police found the van at a residence in Kenosha around 10 p.m.

Lorberter refused to leave the home, the release states.

After hours of negotiation, the Kenosha County Tactical Response Team talked the man into surrendering. Officers took him to the Kenosha County Jail around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.

No one was injured in the crash or the shooting, according to the police department.

Facebook video

A Facebook video shows the light-colored minivan ramming into another vehicle outside of La Fogata. Both vehicles were traveling south on Sheridan.

Lorberter then gets out of his vehicle holding a handgun. He screams at the driver of the other car, appearing to continue a prior confrontation not shown on video.

“You start a fight, and you can’t even run it on,” Lorberter yells to the other driver, now stopped near the stoplight at Sheridan and Seventh Avenue trying to leave the scene.

“Damn, bro, that’s how you do,” the other driver yells back. “That’s how you do?”

Lorberter then points his handgun into the air before pointing it at the other vehicle and firing a shot.

He continues to yell at the other driver after firing before the video cuts out.

Incident in July

An incident from July led to the charges in the misdemeanor case.

According to the criminal complaint in that case, filed Oct. 14 in Kenosha County, on July 8, 2020, Kenosha Police responded to Union Park Tavern.

Around 1:15 a.m. that morning, a caller told dispatchers that “he just had a gun pulled on him by an intoxicated, heavy set male.”

He described the man as “having a long beard who was in his mid-60’s, wearing a beige t-shirt, pants and a cane,” the complaint states.

When arriving at the bar, officers found Lorberter outside sitting on the grass. 

Officers demanded Lorberter show them his hands, to which he initially didn’t fully comply. 

“He initially raised his left arm and left his right arm down at his side, the same side the firearm was last reported to be seen,” the complaint states. “The defendant was told to raise his right hand to which he then complied.”

In searching him, officers found a black handgun in Laborter’s waistline. 

Staff at Union Park Tavern, as well as a patron who Laborter threatened with a gun, recounted the confusing altercation to police.

According to the patron, Lorberter kept trying to speak to him as he sat at the bar. According to the complaint, the patron only made out a racial slur against Black people in what Lorberter said. 

Again points a gun at someone

When the patron leaned in to hear Lorberter, he turned aggressive, causing the other patron to walk away.

Later, when the patron and a friend stepped outside of the front door of the business, Lorberter sat on a nearby bench.

At that time, the two exchanged words, the patron telling Lorberter,  “Keep it up, I’m going to mess you up,” the complaint states.

Lorberter continued to angrily waive a cane at the other patron and his friend while yelling. He then pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the other patron  and said, “You’re going to end up in the hospital, and maybe your friend too.”

The other patron ran back inside to get the owner. When they returned outside, they found Lorberter lying in the grass unable to get up.

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Confusing interaction with police

During Wednesday’s court hearing, Keating commented on the police officers’ handling of the July incident. 

“I’ll leave to why the police did what they did to the police,” Keating said. “That’s not my issue.”

In looking at the criminal complaint, the reasoning for Keating’s comments becomes clear. 

After speaking with Lorberter at the scene, officers found that he was intoxicated and had a firearm on him, though he had a concealed carry permit.

They then took him to the Kenosha County Jail sally port.

There, officers conducted tests that determined Lorberter’s blood alcohol content to be .16. That is two times above the legal limit.

Not taken into custody in July

A screenshot of Michael Lorberter’s booking history on the Kenosha County Jail website. The history only lists an arrest on Oct. 13. Complaints in misdemeanor and felony cases against Laborter were both filed Oct. 14 with Kenosha County Circuit Court.

However, the officers did not book Lorberter into custody, according to the complaint.

“The defendant was released from the sally port on a summons and complaint, the complaint states. “The defendant’s Conceal Carry Permit displayed an expiration date of 2019. The defendant stated he has not renewed it because he ‘forgot’ and a Conceal Carry Permit query revealed the defendant did not possess a valid permit at the time of this incident.”

An officer then retrieved a handgun from Lorberter’s right side in a holster.

“There was no round in the chamber. The magazine capacity is 15 rounds, actual rounds in the magazine was 13,” the complaint states. “The ammunition was Blazer 40 S&W.”

An email sent to the police department’s public information officer by The Uptown Observer Wednesday morning seeking comment on Lorberter’s cases remained unanswered as of 3 p.m. Wednesday.

KPD responds, declines comment

In an emailed response at 3:42 p.m. Wednesday to The Uptown Observer regarding questions on the case, particularly why Lorberter was not booked into jail in July, KPD Lt. Joseph Nosalik stated that he had not read the files and was “not sure.”

“But it is sounding as if you don’t need me to answer any questions at all and you already know what you’re going to write,” he wrote.

The Observer sent a followup email in response at 3:55 p.m., again seeking comment in reference to Keating’s comments and the information in the criminal complaint of the July incident.

Nosalik had not responded to that email as of 6 p.m. Wednesday evening. 

Thursday morning KPD exchange

At 9:13 a.m. Thursday morning, Nosalik sent an email response to The Uptown Observer admitting his comments may have come from some heightened sensitivity due to local and national media focus on the department in recent months.

However, he stated that, while he wants to give the public facts, commenting on the situation at this point with the information he knows would not provide that.

“To speculate would not be appropriate for accurate, factual reporting,” Nosalik said.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

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Daniel Thompson is an independent journalist and the founder of The Uptown Observer based in the Kenosha, Wis., area. He started in journalism at the Western Nebraska Observer in 2012 and, most notably,...