Paramedics were called to Greer Tire at 6550 N. 40th St. after an employee noticed a man hanging over the roof of the building.
“There was a man slumped over the edge of the roof, right by where the electrical connections are coming in,” Pat Greer said.
Greer described the terrifying scene that workers came upon early this week at his north side tire wholesale business.
“He was leaning over the cap at the time with the wire cutters in his hands and had been electrocuted,” Greer said.
Fire Department officials believed the man may have been attempting to cut the business security system wire and was electrocuted in the process. Authorities suspect the victim may have been on the roof to steal copper wiring.
Devon Williams, 38, was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
Investigators believe Williams had cut two thick wires to the building, but had been protected by his rubber shoes and rubber handles on his bolt cutters.
We Energies employees investigated the scene and believe that Williams leaned over to cut a third wire when his chest made contact with the aluminum siding on the building, causing live current to flow through his body.
We Energies employees told investigators that numerous copper wire thefts had been reported in that vicinity.
Investigators believe that Williams may have had an accomplice with a ladder, but that individual likely left the scene following the electrocution.
We Energies said it has increased security around its substations, and is working with Milwaukee and other cities to guard against cases of copper theft in vacant homes and businesses.