2 with ties to Milwaukee street gang charged in 3 homicides

Two Milwaukee men associated with the Uptown Street Boys gang have been charged in connection with a string of shootings and homicides dating back to 2011.

Danta D. Rowsey, 27, is charged with three counts of first-degree reckless homicide in the deaths of Joseph A. McBeath Jr., Irven Hale and Israel Gatlin.

His co-defendant, Emmanuel J. Carter, 25, also is charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the deaths of Hale and Gatlin and faces two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Rowsey also is charged with first-degree reckless injury in a September 2013 shooting of Carter.

Prosecutors allege the gang targeted witnesses who could have cooperated with law enforcement. Rowsey, Carter, Hale and Gatlin are believed to be members or associates of the gang.

After the killing of McBeath, prosecutors say, Rowsey was responsible for orchestrating the shootings of Hale, Gatlin and Carter — who was the only one of the three to survive and is now paralyzed.

According to the criminal complaint:

The string of homicides started with the fatal shooting of 26-year-old McBeath, who was found dead inside a car behind Ralph's Coffee shop at N. 46th St. and W. Lisbon Ave. on Dec. 13, 2011. A passenger in the car also was wounded and told police that a man tapped on the window before opening fire. The passenger said he couldn't see the shooter's face.

Rowsey, Hale and Gatlin were all identified by Milwaukee police to be involved with that homicide through witness statements and surveillance video.

Hale was believed to be the shooter, while Gatlin was in the parking lot at the time and Rowsey drove the getaway SUV.

Gatlin was arrested 13 days after the shooting and remained in custody until the following March. He told detectives he saw Hale fire five rounds into the car.

On Jan. 4, 2012, Hale was found shot to death in the 3900 block of N. 13th St.

An informant said Hale was shot and killed as a direct result of McBeath's killing and after Rowsey learned that Hale had gone into a nearby gas station that had surveillance video right before the shooting. By this time, Gatlin had been arrested and it was assumed that he talked to police, the informant said.

Rowsey and Carter met with other associates to devise a ruse to get an unarmed Hale into an area where he could be killed, the informant told police.

The informant recalled Rowsey saying: "Nobody is a snitch until they get an opportunity to snitch."

Hale was shot at least five times.

One informant claimed Carter killed Hale. When Carter was interviewed, he claimed Rowsey had confessed to the crime. Gatlin got out of jail March 11, 2012. Six months later, he was dead.

Milwaukee police were called to a report of gunfire in the 2800 block of N. 21st St., and Gatlin was found with 10 gunshot wounds, four of them in his head. A witness said she heard gunshots, looked out and saw a silver Chevy Tahoe, which was similar to the SUV fleeing the scene of McBeath's homicide.

On Oct. 1, 2012, Carter was arrested and told police that Rowsey believed Gatlin was snitching and killed him. An informant said Carter confessed to killing Gatlin.

Police found rap lyrics in Carter's cell at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility. One line read: "Holes bigger than a hockey puck, the last (expletive) got touched was a cocky (expletive), four shots to the face."

On Sept. 11, 2013, Carter was shot and paralyzed. He told police that he recognized one of the shooters as an associate of Rowsey.

An informant told police that Rowsey arranged Carter's shooting because he "knew too much."

Carter is in the Milwaukee County Jail on $200,000 bail. An arrest warrant has been issued for Rowsey.