Curfew for youth after Milwaukee shootings injure 21

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee authorities enacted a youth curfew Saturday and added additional patrols after 21 people…

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee authorities enacted a youth curfew Saturday and added additional patrols after 21 people were injured in three separate shootings downtown near an entertainment district where thousands gathered to an NBA playoff game.

Three people were injured in the first shooting, one in the second, and 17 in what police described as an exchange of gunfire between two groups of people, all just blocks from the stadium where the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics in the match. 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals. All victims are expected to survive.

“What makes people think they can have a shooting on a public street or in an entertainment district, whether there are police or not?” Deputy Police Chief Nicole Waldner asked at a midday news conference.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city has imposed a downtown curfew that requires everyone 20 and under to be off the street by 11 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Additional police patrols are also planned.

“We can’t have that in this city, or anywhere else in this state, or anywhere else in this country,” Johnson said.

The mayor did not mention any plans to ban parties downtown to watch Game 7 on Sunday afternoon. Although the game is in Boston, thousands of fans often congregate downtown to watch big-screen televisions in the Deer District, an entertainment area with numerous bars and restaurants where large crowds often gather to watch major sporting events.

Waldner said three people were injured in the first shooting at 9:10 pm next to the Deer District. Among them a 16-year-old girl. A man is in custody.

Bill Reinemann, a parking attendant at a lot adjacent to the Deer District, said he heard gunshots and then saw dozens of people fleeing.

“It sounded like six or eight shots,” he said. “It was close”.

At 10:30 p.m., one person was shot. No arrests were made, Waldner said.

Seventeen more people were injured in a shooting at 11:09 pm Five of the injured were armed and were among 10 people taken into custody, Waldner said. Police have not yet determined what triggered the shooting.

“There were a couple of groups exchanging gunfire despite the incredible amount of police presence that was downtown,” Waldner said. “District 1 officers reported bullets whizzing past their heads.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that broken glass, empty alcohol bottles, loose shoes and two bloody shirts littered the streets after the chaos.

Jake O’Kane, 25, of Appleton, Wisconsin, attended the playoff game with his girlfriend. Then, they watched the shock of the first shooting, then walked a few blocks away and spent a couple of hours in bars before deciding to take a Lyft ride to a restaurant.

O’Kane said they were outside waiting for their ride “and all of a sudden you hear the ‘pop, pop, pop’ behind you.”

O’Kane said he heard about 20 shots before he was able to capture 22 more on video. He estimated that the shots were fired a few hundred meters from his group.

When the driver pulled over less than two minutes later, “I said bro, drive!” he said O’Kane.

The Bucks said in a statement Friday night that there were no shootings inside the Deer District, where an estimated 11,000 fans who were prevented from entering the stadium gathered to watch the game.

Milwaukee was one of several US cities to see a record number of murders in 2021, most of them involving firearms. The list also included Philadelphia, Indianapolis and others.

Experts believe that the stress and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the violence. Johnson blamed easy access to weapons.

“A central part of the problem is the fact that people easily get hold of 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 Milwaukee’s 193 murders in 2021, 180 were with firearms. Another 873 people were injured in shootings, according to police data.

This year, the pace is even worse. Milwaukee has already recorded 77 murders, a 40% increase from the same period in 2021. The number of non-fatal shootings this year is 264, down two from the same period a year ago.

O’Kane said he is concerned about the direction Milwaukee is taking.

“Are we going to go to another game again, if we win? Yeah, I’m still going to end up going to Bucks games. But are we going to party outside afterwards? Hell no, not a chance.


This story has been updated to correct the age of one of the people shot to 30, not 3.

Copyright © 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Leave a Comment