The Milwaukee mayor has implemented a curfew for anyone under the age of 21 after three people were killed and 24 were injured in nine shootings across the city.
Mayor Cavalier Johnson announced the curfew in a news conference on Saturday, hours after a mass shooting left 17 people injured following the Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff game against the Boston Celtics.
The curfew will be in effect from 11pm to 5.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, and officers in the area will target any teenagers who are ‘loitering or otherwise acting unlawful’ with citations.
Johnson also said he is not ruling out calling in the Wisconsin National Guard, and is in continual conversation with Gov. Tony Evers.
‘We will not tolerate these types of actions in Milwaukee,’ he said at the news conference, adding that ‘people have just too easy access to guns.’
Mayor Cavalier Johnson announced he is setting up a curfew from 11pm to 5.30am for anyone under the age of 21
The announcement comes after a bloody Friday, when 11,000 fans gathered at the Fiserv Forum to attend Game Six of the Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff series against the Boston Celtics.
The first shooting in the city of less than 600,000 people began at around 12.30pm – several hours before the game – when a 24-year-old man was shot and taken to the hospital.
Just about 45 minutes later, FOX 6 reports, a 23-year-old man was also shot, and later died of his injuries.
Then, at around 1.30pm, a 42-year-old man was shot and taken to the hospital. He is expected to survive his wounds.
And by 4pm, a 17-year-old boy was hit by gunfire from a passing car, and was taken to a local hospital for his injuries.
Thirty minutes later, Milwaukee police were called to another shooting in which a 30-year-old Milwaukee man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, and was later pronounced dead.
Police say the shooting is the result of a fight, but are continuing to search for an unknown suspect in that case.
A third victim, a 33-year-old man, was killed in a sixth shooting on Friday at 6.40pm as the sun was starting to set.
A 24-year-old was also shot at around 7.10pm, but is expected to survive.
Milwaukee police remained on the scene of a devastating shooting Saturday morning
Debris was left strewn throughout the streets, where people fled after gunshots rang out
It occurred just blocks from Game Six of the Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff series against the Boston Celtics, which the Celtics won
But the most bloody shootings occurred in the aftermath of the Milwaukee Bucks’ game at Fiserv Forum.
Witnesses said they first heard gunshots at around 9pm, as the playoff game between the Bucks and the Boston Celtics was in its final minutes, ESPN reports.
A 29-year-old male, a 16-year-old female and a 26-year-old male were injured in that shooting, Milwaukee police later announced, and a 19-year-old was taken into custody.
The shooting sent many into a frenzy, and several fights broke out after the game, which the Celtics won 108 to 95.
By 11pm, more shots rang out on Water Street, injuring 17 people between the ages of 15 to 47. They are all expected to survive, according to WTMJ.
Ten people have since been taken into custody for that shooting, as police recovered 10 guns from the scene.
Officials said on Saturday that the suspects include both minors and adults, and five of the victims of the mass shooting were armed and taken into custody.
None of the shootings appeared to be connected, Assistant Police Chief Nicole Waldner said.
Police now say that the mass shooting Friday night appears to have been a shootout between ‘a couple of groups,’ as Mayor Johnson blamed it on ‘a small number of people who wanted to cause destruction in our city.’
Footage from the scene showed thousands of people running in every direction after shots rang out at around 11pm on Friday in Milwaukee
One witness reported a stampede following the Milwaukee Bucks game Friday night
Footage from the scene shows thousands of people fleeing in all directions in downtown Milwaukee after the shooting began.
‘Everybody started running,’ Brittany Bergstrom, who was at a nearby restaurant told FOX 6. ‘There was a stampede, people running over the shrubs, hats, shoes on the ground, drinks spilled everywhere.’
She said her boyfriend pulled her behind a brick wall ‘and if he wouldn’t have, this outcome would be a lot different.
‘And that’s all I know, and everybody took off running and I just kept running.’
Police remained on the scene early Saturday morning, with several blocks of the downtown blocked off.
Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS.
Another shooting had occurred just two hours earlier, as the Bucks game was wrapping up
Police remained on the scene through Saturday morning, though 10 people have already been arrested in connection with the shooting
Authorities now blame the shootings on criminals having ‘easy access’ to guns.
‘There is open carrying of firearms with utter disregard’ for law-abiding citizens, Waldner said on Saturday, adding that ‘There is a lack of consciousness that is just really hard to fix right now.
‘It goes beyond law enforcement,’ she said, as Johnson said ‘we need everyone to be a part of the solution.’
Over the past year, homicide rates in the city leapt 48 percent, according to statistics from the Milwaukee Police Department.
Now, Alderman Robert Bauman said, he has been hearing from condominium associations over the past month or so that they are concerned about growing violence, like they saw last summer.
‘The police had told me last year, and I suspect it’s true again – everybody has a gun,’ Bauman told the Journal-Sentinel. ‘They’re outgunned.’
He raised concerns about the tailgating downtown, which he described as ‘non-bar patrons who just sit in or around their vehicles – drink, smoke and play music – and they’re armed.
‘With all that going on again, there’s no reason this would not happen again because all the same conditions exist for it to happen – guns, lawless behavior, warm weather with the magnetic effect of a Bucks game.
‘You almost have to pray for cold and rain,’ he said.
Bauman also said he had been told that police are now planning to staff up and have a large police presence downtown, but he thinks there should also be discussions about security perimeters around the entertainment districts, weapons checks and removing street parking.
‘They’re going to have to look at removing all the street parking for blocks away to prevent the tailgating from taking place,’ he claimed.