21 people shot across three incidents downtown Friday night following Bucks game.
The Water Street and Old World Third Street bar districts could face another violent summer if Friday’s post-Milwaukee Bucks game activity is any indicator.
The Milwaukee Police Department reports 21 people were shot across three different incidents. All of the victims are expected to survive.
The largest shooting occurred at 11:09 p.m on the 1100 block of N. Water St., the south end of the bar district. MPD reports 17 people were shot. Ten people were taken into police custody from the incident and nine firearms were recovered. Victims ages ranged from 15 to 47.
A triple shooting occurred at 9:12 p.m. on the 1100 block of N. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., the north end of the Old World Third Street bar district. “The victims were a 29-year-old male, a 16-year-old female, and a 26-year-old male. There was a 19-year-old male taken into custody in connection with this incident,” said MPD in a statement.
Prior to the 17-victim incident, a single-victim shooting took place on the 1100 block of N. Water St. A 20-year-old male was taken to an area hospital. MPD did not report any arrests.
MPD sends extra officers to the area on busy evenings as part of its Code Red initiative.
The incidents all occurred in the blocks immediately east of Fiserv Forum and the Deer District entertainment complex. The Bucks hosted a sellout crowd inside the arena and planned to allow up to 11,000 people to watch the game outside the arena. The two bar districts also drew large crowds as a result of the game and warm weather.
In each incident, at least one victim was not of age to go into the adjoining bars. Last year one of the problems identified was crowds of people gathering in the bar districts with no intention of going into the bars.
Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21 hired a nightlife consultant in 2021 to study options for the district. Representatives from Kansas City, Memphis and New Orleans presented their strategies in August to Milwaukee officials including metal detectors, age requirements and anti-loitering rules.
No major changes have been implemented in Milwaukee, but a large surface parking lot on the 1200 block of N. Water St. remains fenced off to deter loitering and crowds forming. Portions of N. Water St. and E. Juneau Ave. are also regularly closed to motor vehicle traffic late on weekend nights.
Milwaukee’s homicides are on pace for a third consecutive record-breaking year amidst an uptick in violence that has coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic.