The Wisconsin Republican Party is calling for a federal probe into the daylight shooting of a known supporter of GOP President Donald Trump.
Bernell Trammell, 60, was shot dead on Thursday in Milwaukee.
“Because of Trammell’s well known political activism and the possibility that his murder could be politically motivated, I respectfully request that United States Attorney Matthew Krueger open an investigation into this heinous crime,” Andrew Hitt, chairman of the party, said in a statement late Friday.
“No American should fear for their personal safety because of where they live or their political affiliation,” he added.
Reggie Moore, director of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention, told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he recently got in the middle of an altercation between Trammell and another man.
The dispute stemmed from a Trump sign Trammell was carrying, Moore said.
“It is tragic to learn of the senseless murder of Bernell Trammell, and I offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends. –@AndrewHittGOP (1/3)
— Wisconsin GOP (@wisgop) July 25, 2020
“He’s a black elder who didn’t deserve to die the way that he did,” Moore said, adding that the manner in which Trammell was shot dead, “in front of his home and in front of his shop in broad daylight, is extremely troubling.”
Police officers are investigating the shooting, which took place at approximately 12:31 p.m. on the 900 block of East Wright Street.
“The circumstances leading up to the shooting are under investigation. Milwaukee Police continues to seek unknown suspects,” the Milwaukee Police Department said in a statement, urging anyone with information to come forward.
One man said he interviewed Tremmell just hours before the shooting, wanting to inquire about his support of Trump.
“I decided to stop and ask him about what I saw on Facebook and why he was holding the Trump sign? Honestly, I just wanted to hear his side of the story because you know how crazy the internet can get!” musician and writer Adebisi Agoro, whose pen name is Armstrong Ransome, wrote on his website.
Tremell told Agoro that he supported Trump because he hired Omarosa and sat down with Kanye West “and had real conversation.”
The writer said it appeared some of Tremell’s final words were uttered during the interview.
“Unfortunately before I could get both the videos uploaded and the post completed, Ras Bernell Tremmell died from gunshot wounds inflicted earlier this afternoon. He was murdered right outside of his shop where we were just speaking. His home,” Agoro wrote.
“He took his time to think about what he was going to say and I let it him have the floor. He was adamant, poised, and well-articulated.”