Shootings near Milwaukee Bucks playoff game prompt curfew
After 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near an entertainment district where thousands gathered to watch an NBA playoff game, downtown Milwaukee will be under a limited curfew for the rest of the weekend. A massive watch party scheduled for Sunday has been scheduled for Sunday canceled.
17 people were injured in one of the shootings on Friday night when two groups began firing at each other. Another shooting wounded three people, and a third injured one. Milwaukee Bucks lost Game 6 of NBA Eastern Conference semi-final series to Boston Celtics a few blocks away from where gunfire erupted. It’s expected that all of the victims will survive.
“What makes people think they can just have a shootout on a public street or in an entertainment district, whether police are there or not?” ” At a press conference on Saturday, Assistant Police Chief Nicole Waldner posed the question.
The Bucks play Game 7 in Boston on Sunday, and Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city has implemented a curfew for the downtown area, requiring anyone under the age of 20 to leave the area by 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Game 7 outdoor watch parties in the Deer District entertainment area outside the arena have been canceled. Spokesman Jeff Fleming said the team decided to cancel the event “after consultation with the city and public safety agencies” in a text message.
— Scott Grodsky (@ScottGrodsky) May 14, 2022
Over ten thousand people were expected to attend the watch party for the Sunday afternoon game. More than 19,000 people were inside the arena for the Bucks’ Game 6 watch party, but the team claimed that only 11,000 people attended.
According to the Milwaukee Bucks, “The shootings that took place in downtown Milwaukee last night were horrific and we condemn this devastating violence,” the team released a statement. Deer District businesses will remain open, but a watch party has been canceled “to allow law enforcement to devote needed resources to the ongoing investigation of last night’s events,” it read.
Those responsible for the shootings, according to Johnson, will be held responsible.
There is no place in this city, state, or country where that is allowed, he said.
When Waldner reported the first shooting, which occurred at 9:10 p.m. (five minutes before the game ended), three people were injured, including a 16-year-old. One person was detained as a result of the investigation.
Immediately after the Fiserv Forum opened in 2018, the Deer District, a 30-acre entertainment district, was built. This is where the shooting took place. Many bars and restaurants can be found where large crowds gather to watch major sporting events or to participate in cultural events like music festivals.
Parking attendant Bill Reinemann said he heard gunshots and saw a large number of people fleeing from a lot adjacent to Deer District.
Six to eight gunshots could be heard, he told me. “It was very close.”
A second shooting occurred at 10:30 p.m., injuring one person. Waldner confirmed there had been no arrests.
The third shooting occurred at 11:09 p.m. and left 17 people injured. There were 10 people arrested, Waldner said, five of whom were armed. Until now, police have no idea what sparked the blaze.
Police presence downtown was overwhelming, but there were a few gunfights, Waldner said. It was reported that bullets were flying past the heads of District 1 officers.
Breakable glass, empty alcohol bottles, solitary shoes, and two bloodied shirts littered the streets after the fracas.
Jake O’Kane, a 25-year-old Appleton, Wisconsin resident, and his girlfriend attended the playoff game. Before taking a Lyft ride to a restaurant, they saw the commotion from the first shooting and went to bars a few blocks away for a few hours.
Before long, O’Kane recalls hearing the familiar “pop, pop, pop” coming from behind them as they stood outside waiting for their ride.
He claims to have heard about 20 shots before being able to record 22 more on video. A few hundred yards, he said, was the range estimate for the shots that were being fired toward his gang.
“I said, bro — drive!” he yelled to the driver when he arrived less than two minutes later. O’Kane made the statement.
One of several US cities that saw record numbers of gun deaths in 2021, Milwaukee was one of those. Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and a few other cities were cut.
The COVID-19 pandemic, according to experts, contributed to the violence. Johnson blamed the ease with which guns could be obtained.
One of the most pressing issues, according to Johnson, is the ease with which people can obtain firearms. “It’s not just a Milwaukee issue, either. There has been an increase in both fatal and non-fatal shootings across the country.
A total of 180 of the city’s 193 murders in 2021 were committed with a firearm. According to police reports, another 873 people were injured in the shootings.
This year’s pace is even worse than the previous year’s. To date in 2021, there have been 40 more killings in Milwaukee than there were at this time in 2021. There have been 264 non-fatal shootings this year, two fewer than last year.
O’Kane expressed concern about Milwaukee’s future in a recent interview.
“Will we play another game if we win this one?” Yes, I’ll still be going to Bucks games in the future. However, will we be able to continue the celebrations outside afterward? Not a chance in hell.”
The age of one of those shots has been corrected to 30 and not 3.