Marshals, police search for fugitive in Milwaukee

Marshals, police search for fugitive in Milwaukee

By James Kust, Jon Byman, Annie Scholz. CREATED Jul 23, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul 24, 2013

MILWAUKEE - A fugitive is on the run following a major response from US Marshals and Milwaukee Police at a high rise building in downtown Milwaukee.

More than three dozen officers responded to Juneau Tower downtown after Jonnie Lopez fled an apartment on the 7th floor.  He somehow scaled balconies down to the third floor, trying to get into other units in the building.

"Goes through the balcony of another apartment, tries to strong arm his way into another apartment then tries to bribe his way into an apartment," said Douglas Bachert with the US Marshall's Service.

Police locked down the building, checking everyone who went in an out.  There were officers manning all the stairwells Tuesday evening.

A top to bottom search of the building ended without finding Lopez.  Police and Marshals are now following other leads.

Marshals hoped to take Lopez into custody Tuesday.  He's wanted for a federal weapons offense, but was released on bail.

They believe that during that time, he committed an armed robbery.

"Fairly dangerous," said Bachert.

"Just given how desperate he was to get away. Most people don't try to climb out seven stories."

They're trying to figure out how Lopez went from a seventh floor balcony and worked his way down to the third floor, with several marshals looking for him.

The size of the building also made finding Lopez difficult.

People who live in the Juneau Towers complex have more questions than answers when it comes to their safety.

They told TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes they were frightened to see squad cars and and hear a fugitive was on the loose at their complex.

"I was wondering how he got into the building? If he knew somebody in the building or snuck into the building?" asked Beverly Gehring, who lives in the building next to where marshals and police stormed in.

"There were two that had long silver instruments. I don't know if those were guns or what they were. The rest were not carrying anything."

Since he escaped, some people who live in the complex are uneasy.

"It's kinda scary coming home and thinking there's a fugitive running loose," said Gehring.

Complex management declined to comment.