A Milwaukee man told a friend he was "gathering souls" last week — then shot him several times as the friend walked away from Ward's car, prosecutors said Monday.

Over the next couple of hours, prosecutors said, Joevashaun Ward shot three more people, one fatally, all from his Jeep Cherokee.

Ward, 37, was charged Monday with first-degree intentional homicide, three counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and possession of a firearm as a felon.

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According to the criminal complaint:

About 11 a.m. Wednesday, someone came into a barbershop near N. 26th and W. Buffum streets and told the first victim that "Pig" wanted to talk to him. The man later told police he knew Ward, aka "Pig," since they were school children.

He stepped out and saw Ward seated in the passenger side of a tan Jeep Cherokee. The man walked up and asked Ward what he was up to. Ward replied he was gathering souls. The man noticed a large handgun between Ward's legs and began walking back to the barbershop.

The man heard shots and ran to a gangway where he collapsed from several gunshots to his legs, buttocks and back. Detectives later found 10 empty shell casings at the scene.

Two and a half hours later, about 1:30 p.m., police responded to a shooting near N.56th and W. Burleigh streets. They found Ryan Sims, 34, on the ground bleeding profusely. He was unresponsive and died at the scene from four gunshots to his torso and arm.

A witness later told police he was pulling into a nearby auto parts store when he saw Sims standing outside a Porsche stopped in the middle of N. 56th St., talking to someone in a tan Jeep. He heard two shots, looked back and saw someone open the driver's door of the Jeep, extend his arm and fire more shots at Sims, who fell to the ground. The Jeep then sped off.

About 15 minutes after Sims was shot, Ward got a call from a friend who said he needed a ride, and picked him and another man up near N. 62nd St. and W. Silver Spring Drive. Ward bought pills from the second man, then dropped them both near N. 62nd and W. Sheridan.

Ward's friend said as they walked away, he heard Ward yell, "Love you, bro," and turned back toward the Jeep. Ward then fired out the open passenger side window. He and the man who had sold Ward the pills were both hit. One of them told police he played dead until Ward drove off.

The .40-caliber shell casings recovered from the first two shootings, and others found inside Ward's Jeep, parked outside his home, came from the same gun, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Ward was convicted of felony credit fraud in 2004 and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

He made an initial court appearance Monday and is being held on $250,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for April 26.

Follow Bruce Vielmetti on Twitter @ProofHearsay

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