At least six teens were gunned down Monday afternoon around the spot where Milwaukee’s Juneteenth celebration had just ended, according to police and fire departments.
The shooting occurred around 4:20 p.m. outside the Greater Philadelphia Church of God in Christ, according to witnesses and a Facebook Live video taken by a bystander in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said six teenagers were shot, including a 17-year-old boy, who may have been a gunman himself and is now in custody.
Norman said the shooting may have stemmed from a fight between some girls and young women, but he did not know what sparked the dispute.
It comes after a weekend in which numerous shootings and deaths were reported across the country. At least eight people were killed in separate shootings this weekend in nearby Chicago.
At least six teens were shot Monday afternoon as Milwaukee’s Juneteenth celebration just ended, according to police and fire departments.
Milwaukee officials said the victims, four girls and two boys, ranged in age from 14 to 19 years old. Police were still looking for other suspects they said had not yet been identified.
Injuries for those in the North King Drive shooting near Locust Street varied, but did not appear life-threatening, the chief said.
“Milwaukee, what’s wrong with our kids?” Norman wondered aloud at a press conference.
Norman noted that he participated in the city’s Juneteenth celebrations without bloodshed for eight years.
“Parents, guardians, the elderly, we must stop this violence that brings our children to these streets. No small arms, no weapons of destruction should be in the hands of our young people.’
“This is a story that plays out too often, and it gets really old. Really old,’ said Norman.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson stressed that Monday’s June celebration itself was a safe and growing event, calling the ensuing violence “totally, totally unacceptable.”
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson spoke at a press conference outside the Milwaukee Police Department
Milwaukee Police Department investigates a shooting along North King Drive near Locust Street, in Milwaukee, Monday, June 19, 2023
“We had thousands and thousands of people here celebrating and pulling themselves together and having a sense of community. That’s something powerful. That’s the true story of what this day is,” said Johnson, a Democrat.
A man who identified himself as T. Jenkins told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that a fight between two women preceded the shooting.
A young man pulled out a gun and everyone dispersed, Jenkins said. The man fired several shots, he said.
Jenkins assisted a young woman with a neck wound.
“I put pressure on her neck,” he said. “I tried to keep everyone around me calm.”
The Facebook Live video taken in the immediate aftermath of the shooting showed at least two young people with gunshot wounds being treated on the sidewalk by paramedics.
The Facebook user tried to comfort her sobbing friend, who tried to contact her mother.
Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said six teens were shot. Norman said the shooting may have stemmed from a fight between some girls and young women, but he did not know what sparked the dispute
It comes after a weekend of gun violence across the country, including eight deaths in nearby Chicago.
During the peaceful daytime Juneteenth event in Milwaukee, vendors sold food and wares while community organizations offered resources, snacks and free giveaways.
Music boomed from stalls and food trucks offering refreshing treats in the heat drew long queues.
Youth dance troupes, marching bands and practice teams entertained the crowd in a parade down King Drive earlier in the day. Police officers were stationed at various points along the route.
Keith Caldwell, another salesman, described the scene as follows: “I just heard a commotion, gunshots, people screaming.”
On event security, Caldwell spoke of the need for gun control.
“At the moment it is an uncontrollable situation,” he said.