Family of homicide victim grieves, shares message of gratitude following emotional night

MADISON, Wis. – Maurice Bowman’s family says the 24-year-old was ‘A bright star in a dark world’.

Bowman was shot and killed near Schroeder Road on Madison’s west side on July 25th.

“He lit up a room,” said his aunt Jessiann, who preferred not to share her last name. “If he would walk in, he took all the attention right on him. His whole soul gravitated from his body.”

Bowman left behind two young children.

“That is what motivated the most change in his life,” Jessiann said. “His kids were his world. He constantly was expressing how much he was looking forward to them growing and being a father they could be proud of.”

On the night Bowman was shot, Jessiann says nearly 100 family members and friends gathered at UW Hospital in Madison. Due to the hospital’s COVID-19 requirements, most, including Bowman’s brother, were unable to enter. She says that’s when tensions rose between his brother and police outside of the hospital.

“He was emotionally distressed,” she said. “Very agitated. He really wanted to get into the hospital, but there was no way for the police to allow it to happen. There were more times that we all feared we could potentially lose someone else tonight depending on how police respond.”

But Jessiann says police responded calmly, deescalating the situation and calming Bowman’s brother down. Police Lieutenant Reggie Patterson says it’s something he’s learned to do through years of handling traumatic situations.

“So many times when we respond to situations, critical incidents like this, we understand that not everyone’s having their best moment,” he said. “It’s a difficult time. It’s stressful for us too.”

Jessiann says while her family is still grieving, she’s grateful for Patterson and the other officers who helped diffuse the situation.

“Whoever was barricading that door, we appreciate you,” she said.  “Thank you for letting our son come home.”

Bowman’s family says they are planning on hosting a fundraising event Saturday evening at 6 p.m. to help raise money to cover funeral expenses.