The last I checked, a man being held and beaten with a baseball bat by multiple assailants would seem to be under a clear assault with a deadly weapon, justifying a lethal force response in self defense.

That’s why I have to wonder what the heck is going on in Milwaukee, where a maintenance man being beaten in a stairwell with a baseball bat faces charges after killing his attackers:

The 39-year-old man accused of shooting the two Wednesday afternoon while he was being beaten with a baseball bat is being held in the Milwaukee County Jail on possible homicide charges.

The shootings were reported about 1 p.m. Wednesday at an apartment building in the 1400 block of N. 27th St.

Police said an argument occurred between the janitor and three people: the teens and a 20-year-old man.

The argument in the apartment stairwell led to a physical altercation, during which the maintenance worker was being held while one of the three beat him with the bat, officials said Wednesday.

The janitor then drew a gun and fired, shooting the two teens, police said.

He was hospitalized for injuries related to the bat-beating and has since been released.

The maintenance worker is now being held in jail on two possible counts of first-degree intentional homicide, according to jail records.

The man who was with the teens is being held in jail on a potential substantial battery charge, Milwaukee police said Thursday.

Neither man had been named by police or charged in court as of Thursday afternoon. The Milwaukee County district attorney’s office was expected to begin reviewing the case Thursday, police said.

According to an earlier version of the story, there was cell phone video of the confrontation shot by the man who was with the teens.

The fact that they are considering charges would indicates either a very cautious investigation, the possibility that the maintenance man was a prohibited person not legally in possession of the handgun he used to defend himself, that he shot his attackers after they disengaged, or perhaps that he instigated the fight.


All that allowed, I can’t easily think of many situations where a jury would convict a man who was attacked by multiple assailants with a weapon who then defended himself.

This case bears watching.



According to the local Fox affiliate, the two teens killed had attacked the maintenance man as he was changing the locks on an apartment in the building. Apparently, one of their friends was being evicted.

The maintenance man had a concealed carry permit and legal possession of his handgun. It appears that he might still be in custody because he hasn’t received a lawyer yet and has wisely refused to provide a statement to police without a lawyer present:

Sources tell FOX6 News the maintenance worker has asked for a lawyer while in custody — and as of Thursday morning, he had not provided a statement to police.

FOX6 News is told the incident cannot be considered self-defense until a statement is given.

Attorney Alex Flynn isn’t representing the maintenance man in this case, but says based on the facts we’ve heard so far, he believes the man could argue that he fired his weapon in self-defense.

“In all self-defense situations, a person may use that degree of force necessary to repel the force against them,” Flynn said.

Flynn says we may even hear an argument for the Castle Doctrine.

“The Castle Doctrine says you can use force presumptively if it`s your home, car or business. Now, this is where he worked,” Flynn said.

Presumably, once the maintenance man is able to speak with a lawyer and provide a statement he will be released.