A Milwaukee man faces three charges of first-degree attempted intentional homicide in relation to Sunday morning’s shooting at Embassy Suites in the city of Brookfield.
Nico Swanagan was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon. He also faces two counts of recklessly endangering safety, one count of criminal damage to property and one count of bail jumping.
According to a criminal complaint, city of Brookfield police first received calls of an active shooter at Embassy Suites at 1:26 a.m. Sunday. Multiple officers as well as a number of police departments from surrounding communities responded in an emergency fashion to clear the hotel.
Police have since found that the shooting stemmed from Swanagan’s birthday party taking place in a guest room that had begun the night before.
Multiple witnesses told police that Swanagan became upset with his girlfriend during the party and that at one point he began to choke and punch her. A number of party guests attempted to stop Swanagan at which point he pulled out a handgun and began firing.
One witness told police that “the defendant began firing the handgun as he began to move around almost in a spinning type manner” and that “it did not appear that the defendant was seeking anyone specific but just shooting at random.”
Two guests were hit by bullets during the incident with one being grazed on the buttocks and another in the abdomen. Both survived the attack.
According to one witness, Swanagan and his girlfriend had had arguments in the past about Swanagan becoming jealous and that they had seen the two having an argument in the hallway that night.
Another witness told police that Swanagan had told him that “he was going to leave because he did not like the people at the party.” According to that witness, Swanagan appeared to be leaving the party immediately prior to the incident, but instead turned around and went up to his girlfriend and began choking her with one hand while punching her with the other.
A third witness told police that he had not been in the room when Swanagan began to fire, but was outside by the elevator. As other guests fled the room, the witness told police that Swanagan pointed the gun at him and fired. The witness said that as he ducked “he felt the breeze of the bullet as it went past the side of his head.”
After learning of the suspect’s identity, city of Brookfield police responded to his residence in the 5300 block of North 56th Street in Milwaukee; however, they determined that Swanagan was not present. At approximately 10:45 p.m. Sunday night, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department received a tip that led to the location of the firearm believed to have been used in the shooting on top of a frozen pond in McGovern Park in Milwaukee.
Swanagan turned himself in to the city of Brookfield police department Monday. He did not take responsibility for the incident.
Swanagan is also currently facing a charge for violation of a restraining order in Milwaukee County and, according to the criminal complaint, signed a signature bond on that case. Conditions of that bond included him not to possess or use any dangerous weapons or firearms.
If found guilty of all charges, Swanagan faces up to 209 years and 3 months in prison. Cash bond has been set at $250,000.