Milwaukee erupted in gunfire Friday, with nine separate shootings that left three people dead and 24 wounded in the lakeside city of less than 600,000.
Three of the Friday shootings took place near Fiserv Forum, where the Bucks hosted the Celtics in an NBA playoff game.
“There is open carrying of firearms with utter disregard” for law-abiding citizens, Assistant Police Chief Nicole Waldner said in a Saturday press conference with Mayor Cavalier Johnson. “There is a lack of consciousness that is just really hard to fix right now. It goes beyond law enforcement.”
The spate of violence prompted Johnson to impose an emergency curfew Saturday and Sunday night on people under the age of 21 in the city’s downtown entertainment district.
“We will not tolerate these types of actions in Milwaukee,” Johnson said, adding that “people have just too easy access to guns.”
Seventeen people were wounded during a frantic mass shootout after the game in Milwaukee’s Water Street Bar District, a few blocks east of the arena.
“It was down here everybody had a gun, everybody had a gun,’ local resident Ron Allen told WISN 12. “You really couldn’t go nowhere. Everywhere you turned it was some type of altercation where somebody had a gun up.”
Video captured at the scene reveals a torrent of gunfire echoing across city streets.
Ten people were taken into custody and 10 guns were seized, according to Milwaukee police. The victims are between the ages of 15 and 47 and are all expected to survive, Fox 6 Milwaukee reported. A 20-year-old man was shot and injured just 30 minutes earlier at the same intersection. He is expected to survive.
The mass shootout came just two hours after another incident, also near Fiserv Forum, in which three people were shot during the final minutes of the game in the Deer District.
Video of the earlier incident shows panicked people screaming and running for their lives.
“Everybody started running,” witness Brittany Bergstrom told Fox 6. “There was a stampede, people running over the shrubs, hats shoes on the ground, drinks spilled everywhere.”
The night of violence came amid an ongoing crisis of shootings across the country, and as the soft-on-crime policies have sparked outrage. Milwaukee has seen a 40% leap in homicides in 2022 compared with the same period last year.
The Deer District has been “battered” by gun violence this year, including two homicides, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“Should not be surprising to anyone,” frequent critic @brianmcgowan44 posted on Twitter. “Milwaukee is a hell hole thanks to the revolving court system for violent criminals and a weak Mayor.”
Democrat Cavalier Johnson, 35, won a special election to become mayor last month.