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3rd suspect arrested in shooting of Tosa officer

Dec. 20, 2009
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By Ben Poston of the Journal Sentinel

Dec. 20, 2009 0

Milwaukee police officers arrested a third suspect early Sunday who was charged with taking part in the shooting of a Wauwatosa police officer last week.

Thongsavahn Rodthong, 27, of Milwaukee, was arrested in the 400 block of N. 34th St. about 12:50 a.m., police said.

Michael S. Dengsavang, 28, Paul M. Phonisay, 29, and Rodthong, all of Milwaukee, face up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the charges of attempted homicide, party to a crime. They also are charged with burglary. Rodthong and Dengsavang are charged with armed robbery as well.

Abby Pavlik, a 3½-year veteran of the Wauwatosa Police Department, was shot inside her patrol car as she responded to an armed robbery call at the Happy Wok, 2332 N. 124th St., about 10:30 p.m. last Sunday. Her investigation took her to a nearby apartment complex, where police say she was ambushed by the suspects.

Pavlik, 28, who was wearing a protective vest, was struck once in the abdomen.

About Ben Poston
Ben Poston is the Journal Sentinel's investigative reporter focusing on database and mapping analysis. He joined the newspaper in June 2007 and has written about weaknesses in the region's tornado warning system, inspection delays for dangerous dams and convicted felons who obtain gun hunting licenses. Previously, he worked as a data analyst at the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting in Columbia, Mo. Prior to that, he worked for three years as a reporter for Cox Newspapers in Ohio. Poston worked for a year as a freelance reporter on a wrongful conviction murder case in Southeastern Missouri that was published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He wrote stories from Mississippi detailing the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that won a 2006 Best of Cox Newspapers Award. Poston holds a bachelor's degree in international studies from Miami University (Ohio) and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, where he focused on database, mapping and social network analysis. He can be reached at bposton@journalsentinel.com or (414) 224-2572.
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