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Shocking, public attack part of State Street shooting suspect’s past

MADISON (WKOW) – A shocking, public attack caught on videotape is part of the criminal past of the suspect a State Street shooting in May.

Madison Police arrested 28-year old Derrick Paige in connection with the shooting of 36-year old Quentrell Williams on May 23.  Williams survived what authorities say was a gunshot to his chin and one to his arm.

In October, 2012, the then 22-year old Paige battered a fellow passenger on a Madison Metro bus in an unprovoked attack.  Surveillance video from the bus shows Paige moving the length of the bus in the aisle and suddenly pummeling a middle-aged passenger who was sitting near the front of the bus. 

After throwing punches, the video shows Paige pinned the passenger to the seat, eventually let him up and then left the bus.  At the victim’s urging, the bus driver called 9-1-1.

Paige was convicted of misdemeanor battery for the bus attack and sentenced to three months in jail.

Three years later, he was convicted of felony fleeing an officer. In December, Paige was arrested for driving with a banned alcohol limit with two young children in his car. That case was still pending when Paige was taken into custody in connection to the shooting in May.

Several weeks before he allegedly shot Williams, Paige was working at a State Street restaurant.  But he left that job and his freedom on the bond in the driving case ended when he was jailed on a probation hold the day after the gun violence.

Police recommend a first degree reckless injury charge and other counts against Paige, but  Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has yet to charge him in connection to the shooting.

Officials say Paige’s suspected escalation to gun violence highlights the challenge in stopping such a progression among people with lesser, but troubling criminal histories. 

Since a spike in gun violence began in Madison in 2017, police, city and community leaders have used various tactics and approaches to try to reverse the trend.  The measures have included assigning more resources to a police violent crimes unit,  proactive enforcement of lesser crimes and more emphasis on a "last-chance" support program for people identified as at-risk for potential, criminal escalation. 

Other approaches have included providing housing and other support for a wide swath of people impacted by the consequences of gun violence as well as enlisting community worker interventions to reduce the possibility of retaliatory shootings.

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