In a distressing incident following the end of Milwaukee’s Juneteenth celebration on Monday afternoon, six teenagers were wounded in a shooting. The incident occurred just outside the Greater Philadelphia Church of God in Christ on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive around 4:20 p.m., according to Milwaukee Police Department reports and bystander accounts. The event had concluded barely a few hours earlier, casting a grim shadow on a day meant for celebration.
The Victims and the Investigation
— Louise B Eisenhardt (@LouiseBEisenha2) June 21, 2024
The victims, two boys and four girls, aged between 14 to 19, were immediately taken to a hospital for treatment of non-lethal injuries. Preliminary police investigations indicate that the incident may have been the outcome of a fight among several girls on MLK Drive that escalated to gunshots.
The 17-year-old male victim is also a suspect in the shooting, and is now in police custody. Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman announced at a news conference Monday night, emphasizing that the department is pursuing additional unknown suspects.
Community Call to Action
Norman issued a passionate plea to the community, calling on everyone to help address the violence issue. “It’s a ‘us’ thing. … We need you, all of you to be part of this effort to make our city safer,” he stressed.
Mayor Cavalier Johnson echoed these sentiments at another news conference, pointing out that guns have no place in resolving fights.
Juneteenth Celebration Ends, Chaos Begins
Milwaukee’s Juneteenth celebration, one of the oldest in the country, concluded its events at 4 p.m., with thousands of people filling King Drive. The festive atmosphere was dampened by the incident, with Mayor Johnson emphasizing that the shooting occurred after the celebration had finished.
Witnesses Speak Out
Several witnesses shared their accounts of the events leading up to the shooting. T. Jenkins, a bystander, and Toni Hector, a vendor, both said that the incident started as a fight between two girls. The situation turned grave when a young man pulled out a gun and began firing.
Need for Security Changes and Gun Control
In the wake of the incident, questions have arisen about security measures during such events. Keith Caldwell, another vendor, called for change and expressed concerns over the lack of gun control.
Urging the Public to Share Information
The investigation into the shooting is ongoing, with the Milwaukee Police Department urging anyone with information to get in touch with them.
Resources for Support
Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention has recommended several resources for free support, including 414Life, Milwaukee County’s Mental Health Crisis Line, and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.