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Six Teens, Including Four Minors, Were Shot Monday Near Where Milwaukee’s Juneteenth Party Just Ended

Six Teens, Including Four Minors, Were Shot Monday Near Where Milwaukee's Juneteenth Party Just Ended

Six teenagers, including four children, were shot and injured on Monday afternoon, not far from where the city’s Juneteenth celebration had concluded, According to the Milwaukee Police Department.

According to witnesses and a Facebook Live video recorded by a bystander shortly after the shooting, the incident occurred about 4:20 p.m. outside the Greater Philadelphia Church of God in Christ located at 2947 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The victims were two teenage boys and four teenage girls (ages 14, 16, 17, and 18). Their injuries were not life-threatening, so they were transferred to a hospital.

Early investigation by Milwaukee Police, the incident may have been sparked by a disagreement between many girls on MLK Drive. At a press conference held Monday evening outside of MPD District 5 in Milwaukee, Chief Jeffrey Norman stated that the 17-year-old teenager who was injured seemed to be a shooter in the event.

Norman stated that the youngster was now in custody. The Milwaukee Police Department is actively searching for additional suspects. Norman predicted that it would take a community effort to reduce the violence.

“Milwaukee, what’s going on with our children?” Norman said. “Parents, guardians, elders, we need to engage and ensure that this violence that our children are bringing to these streets cease. No handgun, no weapon of destruction should be in the hands of our young ones. It’s important that all of us do something.”

This is not a Milwaukee Police Department thing. Not the mayor’s thing. Not just only community organizers,” Norman said. “It’s a ‘us’ thing. … We need you, all of you to be part of this effort to make our city safer.”

In a recent press conference, Mayor Cavalier Johnson argued that firearms should never be utilized in an altercation. “Arguments should not lead to guns being fired off, period,” Johnson said.

It used to be a time where if folks had an argument, you’d just walk away. Or you conclude the argument and leave it at that. Or maybe worse, you get into a fistfight. You don’t pull out a gun and try to end somebody’s life over something as simple and as meaningless as a petty disagreement, as an argument. We see enough of that, too much of that, and it needs to stop.”

Authorities say the Shooting Occurred after Juneteenth Festivities had Finished

From 9 AM to 4 PM on King Drive, thousands of festival-goers enjoyed the festivities.  Community groups lined the street with information, snacks, and free giveaways, and street vendors sold food and wares. Booths blasted music, while huge queues formed at food trucks selling cold drinks and other foods in the scorching sun.

There were lots of kids and grandmas and grandpas there, and police officers were posted at various points along the path. Earlier in the day, a parade along King Drive featured performances by youth dance groups, marching bands, and drill teams.

Today was a glorious day,” Johnson said. “We celebrated Juneteenth. And I think it’s important to point out the fact that this incident did not happen during Juneteenth. … This happened after Juneteenth had concluded. But still, it is totally, it is totally, totally unacceptable for the incident that happened right in this neighborhood, right in this community.”

The tweet below verifies the news:

In 1865, on June 19, Union forces came to Galveston, Texas, to deliver the news that the Civil War had finished and that the slaves were now free. The Emancipation Proclamation had been in effect for two years.

Milwaukee’s Juneteenth celebration is among the nation’s earliest and is held in honor of the end of slavery in the United States. It all started in 1971.

“We had thousands and thousands and thousands of people here celebrating and bringing themselves together, and having a sense of community,” Johnson said. “That’s a powerful thing. That’s the true story about what this day is.”

Witnesses’ Accounts from the Scene

A man who called himself T. Jenkins stated that two women had been fighting before the shooting. According to Jenkins, the group panicked as a young man pulled out a revolver. He said that the man had fired some of the shots.

Jenkins helped a young woman who had cut her throat. He claimed that blood was oozing from a wound on the left side of her neck. “I applied pressure to her neck,” he said. “I tried to keep everyone calm around me.”

Vendor Toni Hector claims the shooting took place right in front of her. She also said that two women were involved in the initial altercation. “I do this event every year and bring my clothes down. It has never been this bad,” Hector said.

A Facebook Live video captured soon after the shooting shows paramedics tending to at least two young individuals who had been shot. The Facebook Live filmer claimed a young woman or child had been shot in the neck.

The Facebook user reached out to the teen’s distraught pal, who was calling her mother and sobbing. Hundreds of people were still milling about the street roughly 20 minutes after the festival had concluded.

Vaun Mayes, a local activist in Milwaukee, was in Rose Park when shots were fired. Because of a gunshot and fighting following the Juneteenth event last year, he said his team, ComForce MKE, especially targeted the area around the park.

For more on what’s been happening in the United States lately, see this piece from the California Examiner:

Mayes saw a woman get shot shortly after the holidays last year. He used Facebook Live to capture the event. Massive crowds and careless drivers can be seen in the footage.

After the violence that occurred during the Juneteenth celebration last year, Mayes said he is “incensed” that it might happen again. “We had been breaking up fights for maybe an hour, an hour and a half,” Mayes recalled, when gunfire rang out on Monday.

“Mayes saw many victims when people started fleeing toward a group of police officers. Perhaps there was just one person, and then it was simply one person after another,” he speculated.

Another nearby vendor, Keith Caldwell, summed up the chaos as follows: “I just heard commotion, gunshots, people screaming.” When asked about the event’s security, Caldwell replied, “It definitely needs a change, we just need a better situation.” He advocated for stricter gun laws. “Right now, it’s like an uncontrollable situation,” Caldwell said.

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