Shootings near Milwaukee Bucks playoff game injure 21 and result in curfew | Milwaukee Bucks

Shootings near Milwaukee Bucks playoff game injure 21 and result in curfew |  Milwaukee Bucks

A limited curfew is in place in downtown Milwaukee for the remainder of the weekend, and a massive watch party planned for Sunday was canceled after 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near an entertainment district where thousands are gathering for an NBA playoff game gathered.

In one of the shootings, 17 people were injured when two groups started shooting at each other. Another shooting injured three people and the third one. All of the shooting occurred blocks from the arena where the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals. All victims are expected to survive.

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

Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city has imposed a downtown curfew that requires anyone under the age of 20 to get off the streets by 11 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday — when the Bucks play the crucial Game 7 in Boston.

Meanwhile, an outdoor watch party for Game 7 that was planned in the Deer District entertainment area just outside the arena has been cancelled. Jeff Fleming, a spokesman for Johnson, said in a text that the team decided to cancel the event “after consulting with the city and public safety authorities.”

The watch party would likely have attracted well over 10,000 people. The Bucks said 11,000 attended a Game 6 watch party, even though more than 19,000 others were in the arena.

Johnson said those responsible for the shootings would be held accountable.

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

Waldner said three people, including a 16-year-old girl, were injured in the first shooting at 9:10 p.m., about five minutes before the end of the game. A man was taken into custody.

This just happened near Fiserv Forum. @WISN12News is working to find out what happened. pic.twitter.com/K1EhJH3arF

— Patrick Paolantonio (@ppaolantonio) May 14, 2022

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The shooting took place just outside the boundaries of the Deer District, a 30-acre entertainment district that developed after the Fiserv Forum opened in 2018. It has numerous bars and restaurants where large crowds often gather to watch major sporting events or attend festivals.

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

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

At 10:30 p.m., a second shootout injured one person. There was no arrest, said Waldner.

Dozens of shots were fired at 11:09 p.m. 17 people were injured in the third shooting. Five of the injured were armed and were among 10 people taken into custody, Waldner said. Police have not yet determined what triggered it.

“Despite the incredible police presence downtown, there were a few groups that exchanged gunfire,” Waldner said. “District 1 officers reported bullets whizzing past their heads.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that broken glass, empty alcohol bottles, single shoes and two bloodied shirts littered the streets in the chaotic aftermath.

Jake O’Kane, 25, of Appleton, Wisconsin, attended the playoff game with his girlfriend. After that, they saw the excitement from the first shooting, then walked a few blocks and spent a few hours in bars before deciding to take a Lyft ride to a restaurant.

O’Kane said they were outside waiting for their ride, “then 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 video 22 more. He estimated the shots came from a few hundred yards from his group.

When the driver pulled up less than two minutes later, “I said, brother – drive!” said O’Kane.

Milwaukee was among several US cities that recorded a record number of killings in 2021, most of them with guns. The list also included Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and others.

Experts believe stress and pressure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic contributed to the violence. Johnson blamed easy access to guns.

“A central part of the problem is that individuals have easy access to guns,” Johnson said. “This isn’t necessarily a Milwaukee issue. Across the country we have seen an increase in shootings, both fatal and non-fatal.”

Of the 193 homicides in Milwaukee in 2021, 180 were killed with firearms. According to the police, another 873 people were injured in shootings.

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

O’Kane said he’s worried about the direction Milwaukee is going.

“Will we go to another game again if we win? Yes, I will still go to Bucks games. But are we partying outside afterwards? Hell no, not a chance.”

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