Off-duty Milwaukee Police Officer Kou Her has died following a crash near 60th and Capitol early Tuesday morning, June 18.
It happened around 1:30 a.m. Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales held a news conference and indicated Her is a two-year veteran of the police department and was assigned to District 4.
The police chief said Her was driving southbound on N. 60th Street after his time on shift. He was struck by the suspect who was traveling westbound on Capitol Drive.
Witnesses say the suspect was traveling at a high rate of speed — and crossed the intersection at a red light when he struck Her. Those witnesses helped police identify the direction of travel of the suspect after the crash — and officers were able to take him into custody.
Officer Her was conveyed to Froedtert Hospital where he died from his injuries, the police chief said. An autopsy will be conducted. Officer Her is survived by six brothers, two sisters, and his mother and father — who both served in Vietnam.
Chief Morales says the suspect in this case is a 34-year-old Milwaukee resident with four OWI convictions in Wisconsin. His most recent was in May 2017 — and he was still on probation for that one.
“This is a difficult time, as we’ve had before in the last year, to lose a police officer,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “I want the residents of this city to know and to appreciate the work that’s done by our police officers.”
“This is a sad day for this city, a sad day for the state,” said Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson.
Johnson said this incident is particularly difficult for him to comprehend because he lives not far from the accident scene — and travels through that intersection with his wife and three small children on a daily basis.
“Michalski, Rittner, Irvine, and now Officer Her. It’s sad. It’s tragic, and it’s also unnecessary,” Johnson said. “It’s unfair, it’s not right.”
The investigation into the fatal crash is being handled by the Wisconsin State Patrol.