At least 20 injured in downtown Milwaukee shootings; curfew issued

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) — The Milwaukee Police Department reports at least 20 people were injured in downtown Milwaukee in three separate shootings Friday night.

The first shooting occurred near the Deer District at around 9 p.m. during the Bucks game. Three people were shot and one person was arrested.

READ MORE: Police investigating shooting near Fiserv Forum after Bucks game

A second shooting occurred at around 10:30 p.m. and one person was injured. A third shooting happened just after 11 p.m. following the game. 17 people were shot on North Water Street near East Highland Avenue.

During the third shooting, police said that suspects from multiple groups shot at each other while police were nearby.

“District 1 officers reported hearing bullets whizzing past their heads as they were there,” Assistant Chief Nicole Waldner said. “There’s just open carrying of firearms with utter disregard for every single person that just was down there to have a good time and enjoy Water Street.”

Police say 10 were taken into custody, and nine firearms were recovered.  Officials say this incident is still under investigation and are looking for more suspects. Waldner said that guns were found under cars and noted that the city has seen a rise in thefts of guns from cars.

“I think it goes toward respecting human life,” Waldner said. “There’s this lack of consciousness that is really hard to police right now.”

The victims range in age from 15 to 47-years-old. Police say all are expected to survive.

In a news conference Saturday afternoon, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said violence in the city will not be tolerated. He also issued a curfew for people under the age of 21 in the Deer District area for this weekend.

The curfew is part of a limited emergency order, and Johnson said he is working with Governor Tony Evers to come up with solutions to gun violence in the area.

On Saturday, Governor Tony Evers issued a statement on Twitter regarding the incident.

“We’re all troubled by what happened here last night,” Johnson said. “The vast majority of people intended to be there last night in peace and enjoy things.”

He said the incidents raise a bigger question about access to firearms both in Wisconsin and the rest of the country. He stressed the need for accountability for people who shoot in crowded areas.

“You’ve got to think about whether or not those folks should have access to a gun in the first place,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it’s crazy to say that those people should not.”

Johnson said that the problem extends beyond policing and into the broader community. He said it’s up to everybody to stop crime in the city.

“If somebody pulls a trigger anywhere in Milwaukee and somebody sees something happen, then folks have got to speak up,” Johnson said. “If they’re willing to do that in a crowd of thousands of people downtown with police all around, they’re going to go in your neighborhoods and do the same thing.”

The mayor reiterated that stopping gun violence is not a partisan issue. He said he wished he could control gun laws at a local level, but noted that was a job for lawmakers in Madison.