3rd man charged with homicide after September shooting in Eau Claire

A 26-year-old Cadott man is being charged as a co-defendant in the shooting death of a 39-year-old Altoona man in September.
Michael Purnell, Xavier Thompson, and Kemone Golden are charged with homicide in the shooting...
Michael Purnell, Xavier Thompson, and Kemone Golden are charged with homicide in the shooting death of an Altoona man on Sept. 17, 2022.(Eau Claire County Jail)
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 10:39 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A third man has been charged with homicide in the shooting death of an Altoona man on Sept. 17.

26-year-old Kemone Golden of Cadott was charged with 1st-degree intentional homicide, two counts of 1st-degree recklessly endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon, and discharging a firearm from a vehicle, all as a party to a crime, on Friday in Eau Claire County Circuit Court, according to online court records.

32-year-old Michael Purnell and 34-year-old Xavier Thompson, both of Eau Claire, each received the same charges in October. Each man received a $1 million cash bond on Oct. 31 after being taken into custody. Purnell had been previously charged with fleeing law enforcement. Purnell, Thompson and Golden are being charged as co-defendants.

A warrant was issued for Golden on Friday by Judge Emily Long.

In September, Eau Claire police investigated the death of 39-year-old Christopher Conner of Altoona, who was found with a gunshot wound near the intersection of Bergen Avenue and Bellevue Avenue at 12:12 a.m. on Sept. 17, according to a release from the Eau Claire Police Department. Police were responding to a report of multiple gunshots in a residential area. Conner was treated at the scene before being taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release.

In documents filed with the charges against Golden on Nov. 11, phone records from the Eau Claire County Jail show that Thompson said multiple times in one call that Golden “pulled the trigger” and said that he didn’t fire his own gun. Thompson said in a phone call on Oct. 31 that the person who pulled the trigger “is sitting in their house” and said it was his cousin. In a Nov. 1 phone call, Thompson told two more people that Golden was the one who fired shots, and admitted that he was with the others who are charged in the shooting. Thompson said in one of the calls that “everyone is going down” and said he was talking to a detective about the shooting.

The criminal complaint against Golden details an interview with Golden while he was in Chippewa County Jail in early October, where he said he was with Purnell on the evening of the shooting but didn’t provide any other details. In calls placed from the Chippewa County Jail, Golden said that he didn’t do anything and suggested the “main suspect... is outside.” Golden placed another call to instruct someone to tell his mother to make a statement about where he was on the night of the shooting, saying “I need her to make a statement; that will be my only witness.”

According to documents filed with the charges against Purnell and Thompson on Oct. 28, police responded to a report of a shooting in Eau Claire and found an injured man. A civilian was attempting first aid when police arrived. First responders found one gunshot wound in the man’s back and took over providing aid to the man, who was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Investigators found nine spent shell casings in the area of the reported shooting. A vehicle that had bullet holes in it was found crashed into a tree at the scene. A man approached police at the scene, saying that the car was his and that someone shot at him. The man told police that he ran because he was scared. Inspection of the vehicle found multiple points of damage from bullets, as well as the rear windshield being shattered, according to the criminal complaint.

The Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office found a suspect in the shooting about four hours later in the Town of Washington. The suspect, Purnell, refused to exit his vehicle and drove away from police. The pursuit went from Eau Claire County into Chippewa County, where spike strips were used to try to stop Purnell. According to deputies, Purnell exceeded 100mph in the chase. Deputies used a PIT maneuver to stop Purnell’s vehicle and he was taken into custody, according to court documents.

Investigators said that in reviewing surveillance video from a number of businesses and traffic cameras in the city, they saw the suspects, Thompson and Purnell, as well as the shooting victim, the driver of the vehicle found crashed at the scene, and several other people at different bars on the evening of Sept. 16. Investigators also saw the vehicles driven by the people in the group in the area of the shooting. None of the people interviewed by police saw the shooting but confirmed some kind of argument occurred that night, according to the criminal complaint. Purnell was seen by at least two people carrying a gun.

Thompson is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 29 for a preliminary hearing, while Purnell is due in court Dec. 20 for a preliminary hearing, according to online court records.

According to a social post via the Eau Claire Police Department Facebook Page, 26-year-old Kemone Golden has an active warrant for his arrest for party to a crime - 1st degree intentional homicide. If you have any information on Golden’s whereabouts, you are asked to either text or call 715-828-5899. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can submit a tip with Eau Claire County Crime Stoppers through 715-874-8477 or info@EauClaireCountyCrimeStoppers.org.