Video: LEO recalls day he was nearly shot in head during police station shootout

The department now plans to install bullet-resistant glass in station lobbies

By Police1 Staff

MILWAUKEE — A now-retired officer is recalling the day he almost lost his life on the job.

Harrowing footage captured the moment Officer Steve Holmblad, 61, was nearly shot in the head during an attack inside a police station. 

Holmblad was weeks from retirement when the Feb. 25 shootout occurred, according to WISN

Suspect Darreon Parker-Bell walked into the station that day seeking information about the in-custody death of his friend Keishon Thomas.

After a brief exchange, Parker-Bell opened fire. One bullet went through the partition separating Holmblad and Parker-Bell, mere inches from the officer’s head. 

As Holmblad took cover, a second officer entered the lobby and fired several shots at Parker-Bell, but missed. The armed suspect then fled and was shot by pursuing officers after refusing to follow commands, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

Parker-Bell was hospitalized and faces multiple charges. 

"When it's happening, you react. You're not thinking. You're strictly going on instincts that you've been trained on," Holmblad told WISN. "The stress level of what happened in itself during the incident is not bad, it's what happens afterwards, what if."

The department is now planning to install bullet-resistant glass in the lobbies. Holmblad told WISN he had previously expressed concern with the station’s security measures. 

Holmblad served out the rest of his LE career shortly after the incident.

"Personally, I was like, 'I need to go back. That's what makes me whole again,'" he told WISN. 

NEXT: Defend the house: Protecting police buildings and personnel 

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