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A Loaded Question
Jesus Gonzalez was an outspoken advocate for the open carry of firearms. But after using his gun to kill one man and paralyze another, he stopped talking. So what happened?

Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office

12:22 A.M., MAY 9, 2010. A phone call made from Milwaukee’s South Side is patched through to a 911 operator.

“What is your emergency? What’s going on?” asks the police dispatcher.

“I just had two individuals try to assault me when I was going outside to move my car,” answers the caller, a man.

“Can you describe them?”

“I don’t know,” he says. “I think one of them fell down.”

“They had a gun or what?”

“I don’t know what they had, but they must have thought that I was not armed.”

“And were you armed?”

“I was armed.”

“What is your name?”


“And what is your last name?


“Can you describe them?”

“I don’t know what the driver was wearing. … But the other one was wearing white, a white shirt.”

“You said they were driving a vehicle? What kind of vehicle?”

“I didn’t get a good look at it, sorry. Maybe it was reddish. I shot out the window.”

“You shot out the window?”


“Which way were they heading?”

“I don’t know. After I shot, I ran. I don’t know, they might still be there. I might have hit ’em both.”

Police arrived on the scene minutes later. Jesus Gonzalez, 23, was sitting with his cell phone in hand on the front steps of 806 S. Shea Ave., a duplex where he and his mother lived. His black CZ 9 mm semi-automatic pistol sat unloaded on top of a box on the porch.

On the sidewalk a half-block away lay Jered Corn, 21, shot in the neck by Gonzalez and paralyzed from his waist down. Around the corner, in front of a video store at 34th Street and National Avenue, Corn’s 29-year-old uncle, Danny John, lay mortally wounded, fighting for breath, his body pierced by four bullets.

Gonzalez was handcuffed and taken to the Milwaukee County Jail. From inside his house, police seized three additional handguns, three rifles, a shotgun and 1,300 rounds of ammunition.

Gonzalez had gained a statewide reputation as a gun-rights activist, claiming to be the first person in Milwaukee to legally carry a loaded handgun openly in public. He was outspoken and unwavering, doggedly defensive of his right to carry a firearm and impatient with authorities who tried to stop him. Frequently, he aired his point of view on a gun-rights website under the tag “Parabellum,” a reference to a 9 mm cartridge and a Latin phrase meaning, “If you seek peace, prepare for war.”

Yet Gonzalez was not a violent or hateful man. He never had been convicted of a crime, not even a misdemeanor.

The day after the shooting, Gonzalez was charged with first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

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