Two suspects are both in custody and have been charged for the October 4, 2023 shooting in the 1700 block of Birch Road. According to the criminal complaint, 9-1-1 calls came in at about 2:29 pm and multiple people reported hearing numerous gunshots. Kenosha Police were dispatched and arrived quickly.
Police spoke to a woman who lives at the Northpoint Crossing apartment complex where the shooting occurred. She told police that her ex-boyfriend and child’s father, Elijah Varnell, had come over to pick up a TV and two black ski masks. She said she brought the TV and ski masks down to him and the two began to have a verbal and then physical altercation. The woman then began to walk towards the apartment. The woman’s current boyfriend and father of her unborn child, Dashawn Wright, exited the apartment. Surveillance camera footage shows Wright ponting the firearm at Varnell and the woman. Varnell then used the woman as a human shield. Wright opened fire towards the two.
Varnell is then seen on camera running towards his car, parked nearby. He then retrieves a gun and racks the slide back. Instead of fleeing, he then start moving towards the direction of Wright. The evidence shows that this was now a two-person gunfight.
A school bus is seen on camera driving by and Varnell shot some rounds in that direction. Varnell was able to hit Wright in the leg with at least one round. Wright’s leg buckles and he falls to the ground. Wright then gets into Varnell’s vehicle and stayed there for a small amount of time. He then hops away through the parking lot. Wright had an active warrant for a 2017 criminal case and and evaded police for 6 years.
Both subjects then left the scene. Varnell called police from his home to notify them that he was involved in the shooting. Wright was taken away by a BMW, but the BMW was stopped by police. The SUV was being driven by the woman’s mother, Tiffany Boose. They told police they came to the apartment and were on their way to Froedert.
Police searched the car and found a digital scale, cocaine, adderall, ecstasy, 72 pills containing fentanyl, 23 grams of marijuana and a slew of other drugs.
Police then searched the apartment where Wright and the woman live pursuant to a search warrant. They located marijuana, scales, ecstasy, cocaine, crack, mushrooms, fentanyl, and a large amount and variety of drugs. Police cracked open a safe and found more ammunition.
Varnell told police that he didn’t flee immediately, because he was afraid for his children that were in the apartment. He said he felt they were in danger from Wright.
Varnell had court on October 6, 2023. He was charged with two counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, which both bring a maximum prison sentence of 35 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System. Prosecutor Carlie O’Donnell asked for a high cash bail, citing the seriousness of the accusations and the flight risk. Defense attorney Joe Corcoran asked for a low bail, and argued that his client could have killed the aggressor, but didn’t. Circuit Court Commissioner William Michel II ordered Varnell to be held on $75,000 cash bail.
Wright has been in the hospital since the incident. He had multiple surgeries due to bullets hitting his leg, breaking his tibia and fibula. He was brought into court in a wheelchair today. He was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of of first degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, repeater, which all bring a maximum prison sentence of 61 years in the Wisconsin State Prison System.
Prosecutor Drew Burgoyne asked for the same bail as Varnell, $75,000 cash. Kenosha County Circuit Court Commissioner Aileen Henry agreed and set Wright’s bail at $75,000 cash.
Wright’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 19, 2023 and Varnell’s is scheduled for October 13, 2023.