Police make arrest in Fitchburg homicide

Second person being held on probation hold
Police make arrest in Fitchburg homicide

Fitchburg police said they have made an arrest in connection with a homicide that left an Iowa man dead outside a Fitchburg apartment building Tuesday.

Fitchburg police said Thursday they have arrested Bobby Hogans, 21, of Madison, in connection with the homicide.

Hogans was arrested on charges of felony murder and armed robbery, police said.

After not speaking about the case for nearly two days, Fitchburg police announced the arrest at a news conference Thursday. Police said they didn’t release details about investigation Wednesday because they feared Hogans would leave town.

“This was a very dynamic situation yesterday,” said Lt. Chad Brecklin, of the Fitchburg Police Department.

Police said a second person was taken into custody late Wednesday night on and is being held on a probation violation. Police said this man is a person of interest related to the investigation, but they aren’t releasing that man’s name.

“He is in custody but he is not currently charged in relation to this incident,” Brecklin said.

Police said Hogans chose the Fairways Apartments on Leopold Way to meet the victim, Samuel John Harris, 25, of Dubuque, Iowa. Neither man lived there, and investigators said they believe Hogans intended to rob Harris.

“I’m not prepared to say at this time what the purpose of the meeting was,” Brecklin said.


Police said the location was in part selected by the suspect due to lack of ties to the area by those involved. Police said they aren’t releasing photos of the suspect at this time because of the ongoing investigation.

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s office said Harris died Tuesday of a gunshot wound. A medical examiner’s office spokesman would not say if Harris was shot more than once.

Police responded to a report of a man who didn’t have a pulse and wasn’t breathing in a hallway in a building at The Fairways Apartments at 3302 Leopold Way in Fitchburg, at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Harris was found on the floor just inside an entrance to the building and efforts to resuscitate him were not successful.

Fitchburg Mayor Shawn Pfaff said he’s frustrated that the crime happened in his city. He refuted neighbors who told WISC-TV they didn’t think the neighborhood was safe.

“I want to send a clear signal, that Leopold School is a great school and that is a good neighborhood where kids and families can feel safe,” Pfaff said.

Police said they’re stepping up patrols on Leopold Way to bring a sense of calm to the community.

“We’ll get through this, and I’m glad today that we have some good news to share with you,” Pfaff said.

Fitchburg police say multiple agencies helped in the investigation, including Chicago police, but they would not say whether drugs or gang activity was involved.

It’s not clear when Hogans will make his first court appearance.