‘Unacceptable’: Wisconsin’s governor, Madison mayor want to see change after 11-year-old girl killed

MADISON, Wis. — A spike in gun violence around the country is showing up in Madison.

On Thursday 11-year-old Anisa Scott, who was caught in someone else’s fight earlier in the week, was taken off life support after she was shot in the head on Tuesday.

Anisa Scott

Photo courtesy of the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County

“Any kind of gun play is unacceptable,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “And it’s just made more real and more heartbreaking when it impacts a bystander and when it impacts an 11-year-old little girl.”

Evers said the state and country need to take a deep breath, and the killer needs to be arrested.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said while police address the situation and other individual acts of violence, she sees her and Common Council’s job to stop it from happening again.

“It’s a longer term thing, but it doesn’t have to be years and years of conversation first,” she said. “We could just invest in some proven models. In fact we have the groundwork laid for us already here in Madison, and I do think it’s time for us to act.”

Rhodes-Conway talked about this and other efforts the city is taking on now in a speech to the city Thursday.

In addition to prevention, she said the city will begin a pilot program for a medically trained crisis response team, which can respond to those in a mental health crisis. She said this will lead to better outcomes and ultimately will lighten the load for police.

“As I’ve talked with police here in Madison, they realize they are not the answer to all our problems,” Rhodes-Conway said in her address Thursday. “They often are overworked, stretched thin and without the tools need to address the problems they see in our community.”

At the state level Evers wants to see lawmakers address gun safety, as he attempted last year.

He added conversations need to start in the community.

“Gun owners in this state, the vast majority of them are good Americans that keep their guns safe, but we need to find ways to get the guns out of the hands of those that are using them unwisely,” Evers said.

Rhodes-Conway said she also wants to see the council take on issues she says lead to violence, like lack of affordable housing, access to healthcare and inequity in the city.