Downtown Milwaukee will be under a limited curfew for the remainder of the weekend and a massive binge-watching scheduled for Sunday has been canceled after 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near the entertainment district where thousands had gathered for an NBA playoff game.
In one of the shootings, 17 people were injured when two groups started shooting at each other. Three people were injured in another shooting, and one in a third. All the shots came a few blocks from the arena where the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals. All victims are expected to be safe.
“What makes people think they can shoot out on a public street or in an entertainment district, are there police or not?” Assistant police chief Nicole Waldner asked at Saturday’s press conference.
Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city imposed a curfew for the downtown area that requires everyone aged 20 or younger to be out of the way at 11 p.m. for Saturdays as well as Sundays — when the Bucks play Boston in the decisive Game 7.
Meanwhile, the Game 7 outdoor viewing party that had been planned at the Deer District entertainment area outside the arena was cancelled. Jeff Fleming, a spokesman for Johnson, said in a text that the team decided to cancel the event “after consultation with the city and public safety agencies”.
The binge-watching is likely to attract more than 10,000 people. The Bucks said 11,000 attended the Game 6 binge, and more than 19,000 were inside the arena.
Johnson said those responsible for the shooting would be held accountable.
“We can’t have it in this city, or anywhere else in this state, or anywhere else in this country,” he said.
Waldner said three people, including a 16-year-old girl, were injured in the first shooting at 9:10 p.m., which is roughly five minutes before the game ended. A man was arrested.
The shooting took place just outside the borders of the Deer District, a 30-acre entertainment district that flourished after the Fiserv Forum opened in 2018. The venue has many bars and restaurants where many people often gather to watch major sporting events or attend festivals.
Bill Reinemann, a parking attendant in a parking lot adjacent to the Deer District, said he heard gunshots, then saw many people fleeing.
“Sounds like six to eight shots,” he said. “That’s close.”
At 22.30, a second shooting left one person injured. No arrests were made, Waldner said.
Dozens of gunshots were heard at 11.09pm. in the third shooting that left 17 people injured. Five of the injured were armed and were among 10 people detained, Waldner said. Police have yet to determine what triggered it.
“There were several groups shooting at each other despite the tremendous amount of police present in the city center,” said Waldner. “District 1 officers reported a bullet went through their heads.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that broken glass, empty alcohol bottles, single shoes and two bloodied shirts littered the streets after the chaos.
Jake O’Kane, 25, of Appleton, Wisconsin, attended a playoff game with his girlfriend. After that, they saw the commotion from the first shooting, then went a few blocks away and spent a few hours at the bar before deciding to take Lyft to a restaurant.
O’Kane said they were outside waiting for their ride “then suddenly you hear ‘pop, pop, pop’ behind you.”
O’Kane said he heard about 20 shots before he was able to catch another 22 on video. He estimated the shot was several hundred meters away from his group.
When the driver stopped less than two minutes later, “I said, bro – drive!” said O’Kane.
Milwaukee is among several US cities to record a record number of homicides in 2021, most of them involving guns. The list also includes Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and others.
Experts believe the stress and pressure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the violence. Johnson blamed easy access to guns.
“A major part of the problem is the fact that individuals easily get their hands on guns,” Johnson said. “This is not strictly a Milwaukee issue. Across the country we have seen an increase in shootings, both fatal and non-fatal.”
Of the 193 Milwaukee homicides in 2021, 180 were by firearm. Another 873 people were injured in the shooting, according to police figures.
This year, the speed is even worse. Milwaukee has recorded 77 murders, a 40% increase from the same time in 2021. The number of non-fatal shootings this year is 264, two fewer than the same time last year.
O’Kane said he was worried about the direction Milwaukee was going.
“Are we going to go to another game again, if we win? Yes, I will still go to the Bucks game. But are we going to party after that outside? No, there’s no chance.”
Shooting near Milwaukee Bucks playoffs injures 21 and imposes curfew | Milwaukee Bucks
Source link Shooting near Milwaukee Bucks playoffs injures 21 and imposes curfew | Milwaukee Bucks