A 39-year-old Milwaukee resident has been charged with fatally shooting three neighbors, a Hmong couple and a Puerto Rican man. Jesus R. Manso-Pérez, 40; Phia Vue, 36; and Mai K. Vue, 32, were all pronounced dead at the scene.
The gunman, Dan Popp, faces three counts of first degree intentional homicide and one attempt of first degree intentional homicide, according to court documents from the proceedings on Thursday.
“I think that he is just entirely confused about everything and I’m not sure he really even understands what’s going on.” Chris Hartley, Popp's defense attorney, told NBC's TMJ4 in Milwaukee.
Hartley told the court Friday his client is mentally ill and is unfit for trial.
He said Popp has been treated before, including by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Some evaluation is going to have to be done to make sure that he understands the nature of the proceedings, he understands the role of all the parties involved, the judge, the prosecutor, the defense attorney, so he has an understanding of the charges and he’s able to assist in his own defense.”
The first victim was Jesus R. Manso-Pérez. Popp allegedly invited Manso-Pérez and his 18-year-old son to share a beer before the incident. According to the complaint, Manso-Pérez declined the offer and continued speaking Spanish with his son as they headed to the basement laundry room. Popp asked where they were from, to which they both responded, "Puerto Rico."
The complaint states that Popp said, "Oh, that is why you don't speak English."
When they returned from the basement, Popp allegedly stood at the top of the stairs with a rifle and said, "You guys got to go." He then allegedly shot Manso-Pérez in the head as the son ran out.
Earlier in the day Popp reportedly knocked on the door of Phia Vue, Mai Vue, and their four children. One of the Vues' relatives answered the door, but Popp walked away. According to the complaint, later the Vue family heard two or three gunshots, then locked themselves in the bedroom.
Popp allegedly kicked down their door, pointed a gun at Phia Vue, and demanded he leave the bedroom. The family heard a couple of gunshots, then Popp returned and allegedly dragged Mai Vue and her two young daughters upstairs to his apartment. The Vues' relative and some of the children were able to run out of the apartment building.
After the Milwaukee police arrived to the scene, Popp reportedly left the apartment with his rifle slung over his shoulder. When ordered to put his gun down, Popp said he was heading to a police cruiser in the street, but there were no police cars on site.
According to the criminal complaint, after the second command to drop the gun, Popp surrendered and was arrested.
He is currently held on $150,000 bail. and the case has been rescheduled to April 6 pending Popp's mental health examination.