Updated: Glendale man charged with shooting two sons
A police officer exits the scene of a fatal shooting in the 1000 block of West Theresa Lane on June 26. Photo By Jeff Rumage
(Editor’s note: This story was updated at 1 p.m. on July 1 with information from the criminal complaint against Robert C. Washington, Sr.)
Glendale — The Glendale man who allegedly shot his two sons told police he was being bullied by his son during a game of basketball.
Robert Washington, 57, has been charged with killing one of his sons and injuring his other son shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday outside their house at 1011 West Theresa Lane.
Washington has been charged with first degree reckless homicide in the death of his 20-year-old son Robert Washington, Jr. and first degree reckless injury in the shooting of his 15-year-old son Wesley Washington. Washington faces a maximum 85-year prison sentence if convicted.
Wesley, the younger son, told police that he was playing basketball at about 2 p.m. Thursday when his father came outside and appeared to be intoxicated, according to a criminal complaint. He said his father got in the way of them playing basketball, and Wesley knocked him over. His father got up and said, "You do that again, you ain't gonna wake up," according to the criminal complaint.
Washington then shot Wesley twice, once in the thigh and once in the calf.
Robert Washington, Jr., who was cutting the grass at the time, ran over to his father. That's when his father shot him in the chest and killed him, according to the complaint. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Wesley Johnson said he then went into the house and called 911. His father followed him inside the house, causing Wesley to run out of the house. Glendale police then called the home, and the father answered.
Washington gave himself up, crawling out of the house and into police custody. Once he was placed in the squad car, he said, “he’s a 15-year-old kid tried bully daddy, bully me all the time.”
When officers arrived at the scene, they found Wesley attending to his older brother in the driveway outside of their house. Wesley said their father was inside the house, so paramedics relocated him to a neighboring driveway before administering first aid.
Robert Washington, Jr. was pronounced dead at the scene. Wesley Washington was transported to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Washington, the alleged shooter, had a slightly different version of that afternoon's events. Washington told police that Wesley was bullying him while they were playing basketball in the driveway, saying he didn't want to play with his dad because he was too old, according to the complaint.
Washington said he tried to block Wesley's shot, and then Wesley "came at him like a football player," knocking him down, according to the criminal complaint.
Washington said his older son Robert tried to stick up for his dad, saying "Why do you hit daddy like that, he is a 60-year-old man." Washington said his son Wesley continued to insult him, prompting him to grab the .45 caliber pistol he keeps in his bedroom.
Washington said he went outside with the gun and told Wesley that he was tired of him talking like that, and then Wesley threw the basketball at him. He said the gun "went off" at that moment, and he does not remember how many shots were fired. He said he was drinking vodka at Wesley's baseball game earlier that afternoon.
He told police, “I should not have brought the gun out. I killed my son,” according to the complaint.
Several neighbors interviewed at the scene described the family as an upstanding family who never caused any problems in the neighborhood, which is just east of Milwaukee River Parkway. Dhein said the shooting has been a shock for the neighborhood and the community.
“This is normally a quiet neighborhood,” he said. “Our thoughts go out to the family. This has been a tough situation for the family and the community.”