2 shot during robbery had BB guns
DA will review incident Monday
By Ryan Haggerty
of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Jun. 7, 2009
The two men who were shot by a security guard while trying to rob a Milwaukee check cashing business last week were armed with realistic-looking BB guns, according to a Police Department spokeswoman.
Ronald X. Reed Jr., 24, was shot in the back and died at the scene, police said. His cousin, 22-year-old Vidal D. Mason, was shot in the abdomen.
The BB guns "looked very much like authentic weapons," police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz wrote in an e-mail.
The men also used BB guns while committing a string of armed robberies in 2005, court records show.
Reed and Mason were wearing masks when they entered Check Into Cash, 3906 N. 76th St., on Wednesday afternoon and ordered everyone to the floor, including the armed guard, police said at the time.
One cousin told the other to shoot the guard,
who got up and fired shots at both men, police said.
Reed ran from the store and collapsed in a nearby alley. Mason also ran and turned up at a hospital a short time later.
The preliminary investigation suggests the guard, who has not been identified, was properly licensed to carry a gun on the job, police said.
The guard is employed by Pratt Security and Investigations. The company's president, John Pratt, said the company and its employees have the proper licenses and permits. He declined to answer questions about the robbery and shooting.
The Milwaukee County district attorney's office will review the incident Monday, Schwartz said.
Reed and Mason also were armed with BB guns when they committed five armed robberies together over four days in 2005, targeting people returning home late at night on the city's west side, according to a criminal complaint filed against them.
Both were convicted in 2006 of two counts of armed robbery, according to online court records.
Reed was sentenced by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Elsa Lamelas to three years in state prison - with credit for 263 days for time served - and five years of extended supervision, the court records show.
He was released from prison Aug. 26, according to the state Department of Corrections.
Lamelas sentenced Mason to two years in state prison - with credit for 236 days for time served - and five years of extended supervision, according to court records.
Mason was released from prison Aug. 21, 2007, according to the Department of Corrections.