Wisconsin Public Radio

Stash of Guns Found on Milwaukee River

Sheriff's deputies arrest man, find underground bunker full of weapons in wooded area near Capitol Dr.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Nov 23rd, 2019 01:53 pm
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Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas, center, speaks at a press conference Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 at the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office about a bunker discovered along the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Wis. Photo by Alana Watson/WPR.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas, center, speaks at a press conference Friday, Nov. 22, 2019 at the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office about a bunker discovered along the Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Wis. Photo by Alana Watson/WPR.

The Milwaukee County sheriff says a man living in an underground bunker along the Milwaukee River with a stash of weapons could have been there for “a considerable amount of time.”

Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputies found the underground bunker Wednesday in a secluded, wooded area along the Milwaukee River, stashed with weapons and sustainability materials.

Geoffrey Graff. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

Geoffrey Graff. Photo courtesy of Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.

Milwaukee County dispatch received a report of gun shots near West Capital Drive and North Estabrook Parkway on Wednesday morning. The Milwaukee County Sheriff‘s Office, Milwaukee Police, Shorewood Police and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee police responded and found 41-year-old Geoffrey Graff at the scene.

Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas said at a Friday morning news conference that Graff admitted to shooting three shots into the river because he was frustrated he lost his dogs. Lucas said Graff was immediately arrested and taken into custody.

Deputies later learned Graff lived in the wooded area north of Capital Drive.

During a sweep of the area, officers found a concealed entrance to an underground encampment. Due to their concern for public safety, officers searched the bunker and found four firearms, three knives, arrows, a grill, propane tanks, a generator, tools, and canned goods. The bunker is 8 feet deep, 8 feet wide and around 20 feet in length.

Milwaukee Area Technical College owns the land where the bunker was found. MATC officials said students don’t use the land and there was no threat to the campus community. Lucas said MATC did not give anyone permission to live on the land.

“Our investigation has not determined the exact length that the individual may have been inhabiting this encampment,” Lucas said. “But it’s conceivable that it may have been for a considerable amount of time.”

Graff could possibly be charged with recklessly endangering safety, possession of a short barrel shotgun, carrying a concealed weapon, and trespassing, the sheriff said.

Lucas said the investigation into Graff and the situation is ongoing. They have not found any motive behind Graff building the bunker, “nor do we feel that there is any further ongoing threat to public safety tied to this individual in custody,” Lucas explained.

Lucas said during the holiday season people can detach themselves. He wants to encourage the public to reach out if they see something out of the ordinary.

“It’s all of our responsibility, everyone’s responsibility to remain vigilant,” Lucas said. “If you see something, say something to authorities.”

Listen to the WPR report here.

Weapons Recovered From Bunker Found Along Milwaukee River was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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