Officer William A. Robertson was shot and killed just 15 minutes into his shift, in the early hours of September 7, 1994, when a bullet was fired into the police van he was riding in at N. 24th Street and W. Brown Street in a random and unprovoked attack.
Officer Robertson had graduated from the Police Academy only six months prior and was still in field training when he was struck by gunfire while on patrol. Robertson was sitting in the passenger seat of the van which was being driven by his partner, a 10-year veteran officer who was training Robertson.
As they turned south onto 24th Street, the shot rang out. The bullet pierced the driver’s side of the van and traveled across to the passenger area and struck Robertson from behind in the left shoulder.
The ambush was committed by two suspects. One of the men was standing on a corner next to a stop sign. When the van approached, he signaled to the second suspect who was hiding in a nearby vacant lot. The second suspect fired a rifle shot into the van, striking Officer Robertson.
Both men were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Officer Robertson was 31 years old and married. His wife was seven months pregnant with twins at the time. He had also worked as a police officer for Whitefish Bay for six years before joining the Milwaukee Police Department.