Neighbors of a Porchlight duplex on Broadway Drive, the scene of a recent fatal shooting, say it’s a troublesome property and they want city officials to do something about it.
Mayor Paul Esser and other city officials will meet with residents on April 6 at city hall to listen to their concerns and come up with solutions.
The 249 Broadway Drive residence made news in February following a fatal shooting at the property. The two-unit duplex is owned by Madison-based non-profit Porchlight Inc. that provides affordable housing and shelter for homeless people.
Twenty-nine-year-old Shanton S. Robinson of Marshall was reportedly shot at the 249 Broadway Drive residence on Feb. 23 after a fight over the sale of codeine cough syrup.
Robinson was dropped off at the UW Health Clinic on Winnebago Street and later died while being taking to a local hospital. Anthony M. Young, 33, who lived at the duplex has been charged in Robinson’s death. A witness told police that Robinson was shot when he was trying to get his $1,000 back from Young because the codeine cough syrup didn’t have any effect on him.
During a search of the Young’s 249 Broadway Drive bedroom, Sun Prairie Police reported finding 4.5 grams of cocaine, 4.6 grams of marijuana, a syringe that tested positive for heroin, a digital scale and two firearms.
Neighbors say the homicide is the tipping point of their frustrations of what they say are ongoing problems at the Broadway Drive property. A resident that spoke with the Sun Prairie Star asked that their name not be used because they feared retaliation.
A Sun Prairie Star open records request to the Sun Prairie Police Department found that police were called out to 249 Broadway Drive 42 times since October 2017. Calls ranged from 911 disconnects, street parking, ambulance assist, domestic/family trouble, preserve peace, sexual assault, and a death investigation in June 2019.
City Mayor Paul Esser said he, city administrators and police will meet with neighborhood residents on Tuesday to discuss the Porchlight property on Broadway Drive.
“We are going to hear their concerns and see what we need to do,” Esser said.
Esser expects to contact Porchlight Inc. once he and other city officials get some information from residents. He expects a solution will need commitment from different groups, not just police.
Sun Prairie Lt. Ryan Cox said the Porchlight Broadway property was not identified as a “district concern” and there was no ongoing problem-solving plan attached to it. Cox said the department’s community policing actions would have been engaged if that was the case.
With the homicide still under investigation, Cox wouldn’t discuss the case. Anthony M. Young, charged in the homicide, is scheduled for an April 8 hearing in Dane County Circuit Court.
Porchlight Executive Director Karla Thennes released a statement when contacted by the Sun Prairie Star about the Broadway Drive property.
“The safety and security of Porchlight residents, staff and our neighbors are among our highest priorities. With our many properties in the Madison area, we work hard at being good neighbors,” Thennes wrote. “Oftentimes families who are Porchlight clients come from challenging circumstances. We provide case management services and work diligently to help residents achieve a better life.”
Porchlight has owned the Porchlight property on Broadway Drive for over 20 years. Thennes said in the email that a domestic violence incident in 2016 and the recent homicide were traumatic incidences for all involved.
“We have listened to the concerns of some neighbors, are in consultation with the authorities, and will continue to act in the best interests of all concerned,” Thennes wrote in her email statement.
Thennes declined to answer other questions but said the 249 Broadway Drive residence was now vacant.
Porchlight Inc. also owns a four-plex apartment building at 1221 Sunfield St. The property was purchased with a $220,000 Dane County grant as part of a $2 million Affordable Housing Development Fund.
There are over 350 units operated by Porchlight Inc. in the Madison area. The non-profit provides emergency, transitional and permanent housing, and mental health and case management services.