A shooting Monday after a Juneteenth celebration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, left six teenage victims wounded, according to police.
Milwaukee police said thousands of people had gathered for a block party on North Martin Luther King Drive when an argument between multiple girls is believed to have escalated into a shooting that left four females and two males — ages between 14 and 19 — with gunshot injuries. The victims were subsequently transported to a hospital for treatment.
A video shared online shows the events leading up to the shooting, which included several girls pushing each other down the street and dozens of people swarming the group when a teen pulls out a handgun and fired off several rounds.
“There’s no reason that a young person should have their hand on a gun of any kind. No reason whatsoever. It is completely and totally unacceptable,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said during a press conference after the shooting.
Johnson, a Democrat, also described the shooting as a distraction to the unity observed by community members just moments earlier.
“We had thousands and thousands of people here celebrating and bringing themselves together and having a sense of community. That’s a powerful thing. That’s the true story about what this day is,” he said.
The mayor suggested the shooting could have been much worse as families were gathered for the block party.
“There were families out here,” Johnson said. “There were kids out here. There were babies out here.”
He added: “If you are an adult or a young person, you’ve got your hands on a gun, and you are ill-tempered, right? Don’t come to stuff like this. Don’t come. Get the help that you need.”
“You don’t have the right to steal the joy that this community felt,” the mayor passionately continued. “You don’t have the right to endanger babies in this community. You don’t have the right to put the men and women of this department and our partners in the Office of Violence Prevention in harm’s way because you want to go out there and act stupid with a gun, and that’s what it is, it’s stupidity.”
“Arguments should not lead to guns being fired off, period,” Johnson said.
“There used to be a time where if folks had an argument that you just walk away or you could conclude the argument and leave it at that, or maybe worse you get into a fist fight,” he said. “You don’t pull out a gun and end someone’s life over something as simple and as meaningless as a petty disagreement, as an argument.”
Johnson added: “We’ve seen enough of that, too much of that, and it needs to stop.”
Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said the shooting happened at approximately 4:21 p.m., “after the Juneteenth celebration where thousands in our community gathered peacefully.”
“Milwaukee, what’s going on with our children?” Chief Norman said in a plea to the city, during the presser.
“Parents, guardians, elders, we need to engage and ensure that this violence that our children are bringing to these streets ceases. No handgun, no weapon of destruction should be in the hands of our young ones,” he also said.
The teens suffered non-fatal injuries, police said.
A preliminary investigation indicates that a 17-year-old male shot during the incident was also a shooter, police said, adding that they are still looking for additional suspects.
“MPD asks that we all do better at resolving conflict without resorting to gun violence,” Norman added.
This incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Milwaukee police.