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Man who police say was driver in chase that led to officer's death faces 11 felonies

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WISN) -

Prosecutors filed charges Tuesday against the man investigators say was the driver in a chase that led to the death of Milwaukee police Officer Charles Irvine Jr.

Officers Matthew Schulze and Charles Irvine Jr. tried to pull over Ladell Harrison, 28, near 91st Street and Silver Spring Drive on Thursday, but Harrison sped away, reaching speeds of 95 mph, the criminal complaint says.

READ: Criminal Complaint

As the black Volkswagen Harrison approached 76th Street, the squad car was going 96.3 mph, and Harrison was going faster, the complaint says. As the squad car approached the bridge, the driver lost control and crashed, the complaint says.

A witness told police that when the squad car reached the 7800 block of West Silver Spring Drive, it appeared that the squad car struck the median with its driver's side tires.

The person said it appeared that "the officers were fighting to maintain control of the vehicle as it slid into the opposite side curb line, struck the opposite curb and then began flipping kicking dirt and debris as it tumbled." The witness said that he believed the car flipped approximately 20 times before coming to a stop on its roof, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Harrison told police he fled from officers "because he knew he should not be driving because his license was revoked (and) because he had a firearm in the car and further admitted his 5-year-old son was the car with him."

The complaint states that Harrison told investigators he thought the police would just give up and was surprised when they continued to chase him.

Bail was set for Harrison at at $500,000.

According to the autopsy, Irvine suffered two skull fractures, one on each side of his skull, a spinal fracture to the lower portion of his spine, bruising to his lungs and heart, a laceration to his liver, and numerous rib fractures. 

Schulze, the driver, was taken to Froedtert Hospital and treated for a concussion, broken ribs, and a laceration above his eye that required stitches.

Harrison faces a total of 12 charges, 11 felonies and one misdemeanor. The complaint revealed Harrison was the target of a months-long heroin and fentanyl investigation at the time the officers started chasing him for reckless driving.

An official fund for Irvine has been set up. People can donate at any Tri City National Bank or send checks to:

The Charles Irvine Jr. Memorial Fund
C/O Tri City National Bank
N96W18221 County Line Road.
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

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