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After 2 shootings are declared justified, gun-related homicide tally for 2014 stays at 22

Gilman Halsted, Wisconsin Public Radio

Editor's Note: This article is part of a Wisconsin Public Radio year-long series tracking all gun-related homicides in Wisconsin.

Although there were two gun-related homicides in Wisconsin this past week, the current total of 22 remains the same as last week because prosecutors have ruled two previous Milwaukee deaths as legally justified.

Prosecutors have decided not to charge Jeremy Rossetto in the shooting deaths of Annamarie Miller and James Bell in Milwaukee on March 12. An investigation found that Rosetto shot the two in self-defense while they were attacking him.

Two new deaths occurred last weekend in Racine and Milwaukee. On Saturday, 21-year-old Dulonden Ratliff was shot and killed following an argument outside a bar in downtown Racine. On Sunday, 17-year-old Aurelius Williams was shot and killed during an attempted robbery on Milwaukee’s north side. Suspects have been charged in both deaths.

The national total for gun deaths this year, according to the Gun Violence Archives in Washington, D.C., is 2,660. Of those, 186 are listed in the self-defense category.

“I intentionally tried to drive any bias out of the data so that anything that has to do with guns being used in public, whether legally or illegally, would be counted,” said Mark Bryant, who runs the archive. “And of course people can use that anyway they see fit.”

The website includes a tally of all gun-related incidents, fatal or non-fatal, accidental or intentional. Bryant hopes the data will be useful to policymakers as they draft laws aimed at reducing deaths and injuries, and also for advocates of gun rights or gun control.