On Thursday, October 19, a fatal shooting event occurred on Milwaukee’s south side, resulting in the death of Julio Sostre-Vargas, a citizen of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who was also known by the nickname “Big Pook.”
Sostre-Vargas was shot several times while waiting at a red light at 700 S. Layton Blvd. in Milwaukee’s Southside, and his 5-year-old child was also seriously hurt.
The community was greatly saddened and horrified by this unfortunate tragedy.
Tragic Shooting at Milwaukee’s Southside Traffic Stop
On Thursday afternoon around 4:31 p.m., the Milwaukee police received a call about an incident on the 700 block of S. Layton Blvd. When they arrived, they found a man who had been shot multiple times while driving.
The victim was identified as Julio Sostre-Vargas, a 30-year-old also known as “Pook The Barber.” Sadly, he was taken to Froedtert Hospital, where he was pronounced dead by medical staff.
In the same incident, Sostre-Vargas’ 5-year-old son was shot in the face, but he remained conscious, although in critical condition. He was quickly taken to Children’s Hospital for treatment.
The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Mr. Sostre-Vargas’s passing at Froedtert Hospital, specifically at 5:01 p.m.
Surprisingly, the woman who was with the victim and the child during the shooting was uninjured.
Witnesses statement: What happened?
According to eyewitnesses at the scene, Sostre-Vargas was traveling north on S. Layton Blvd. and came to a stop at the intersection, waiting for a red traffic light at W. Pierce St. and S. Layton Blvd.
Subsequently, a light tan or silver SUV, which had been trailing the victims, pulled up alongside the driver’s side and fired more than 12 shots, hitting the driver’s window at least 10 times, ultimately leading to the fatal shooting of Sostre-Vargas. He was later identified through social media.
Witness Xiomarie Vargas, who was with her 4-year-old child at the time, said, “A lot of traffic, I see everybody getting out of their cars screaming, I’m like, ‘It’s OK, it’s OK baby.'”
Vargas said what she saw at the intersection of Pierce and Layton is hard to warp her mind around. She said she looked out her window and saw people giving the 30-year-old CPR on the ground.
She said, “Everybody screaming and crying, I park my car, I see there’s a little kid in the car who’s also shot as well.”
Vargas shared that the incident had a personal impact on her as well. Upon arriving at the scene, she discovered that the 30-year-old victim was a close family friend.
“It was just sad seeing his body just lifeless, just on top of the stretcher and seeing the kid too just crying with blood, We just gotta stop the violence. We all have kids. We all have people who are looking up to us and to think one day that could be them or one of your family members it doesn’t hit until it is you. He was really known in Milwaukee. He has a lot of family and friends that care about him.”, said Vargas.
As a mother to a young daughter, Vargas expressed that the shootings cause a level of pain she can’t comprehend.
Around 15 spent shell casings were discovered at the scene.
The light tan or silver SUV, with unidentified suspect(s), fled the area before the police and first responders from the Milwaukee Fire Department could arrive.
Public Help Needed
The circumstances preceding the shooting are presently under investigation, with the Milwaukee Police actively pursuing unidentified individuals linked to the incident.
Anyone who has information pertaining to this case is encouraged to contact the Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360. Individuals desiring anonymity while sharing information can contact Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-Tips or utilize the P3 Tips platform.
Following this deeply distressing event, the community comes together to grieve, their hearts burdened by sorrow. Simultaneously, there is a noticeable and increasing worry about the ongoing problem of gun violence. This tragedy has ignited a shared demand for change and a reinvigorated commitment to seek solutions, all in the pursuit of a safer future for everyone.
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