Milwaukee shootings injure 21 people | Curfew implemented and watch party canceled | NBA News

A total of 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near an entertainment district where thousands gathered for an NBA playoff game in Milwaukee.

Downtown Milwaukee will also be under a limited curfew for the rest of the weekend and a mass watch party scheduled for Sunday has been canceled after several incidents Friday night.

In one of the shootings, 17 people were injured when two groups began shooting at each other. Three people were injured in another shooting and one in the third. All of the shooting occurred on the streets of the arena where the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Milwaukee Fire Department said authorities took two people to a hospital, a 30-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl, and a third person drove to the hospital. All victims are expected to survive.

Police said a 29-year-old man is in custody following the first shooting and charges were pending review by the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office.

No arrests have been made in connection with the second shooting, Deputy Police Chief Nicole Waldner said.

Ten people were arrested and nine firearms were recovered from the third shooting, according to police, who described the incident as an exchange of gunfire between two groups of people.

“What makes people think they can have a shooting on a public street or in an entertainment district, whether there are police or not?” Waldner asked at a news conference on Saturday.

Witnesses told local television they saw a fight outside a bar after the basketball game. Police are investigating what led to the shooting.

It happened just outside the boundaries of the Deer District, a 30-acre entertainment district that developed after the Fiserv Forum opened in 2018. It features numerous bars and restaurants where large crowds often gather to watch major sporting events or attend to festivals.

The watch party for the Sunday afternoon game would have likely drawn more than 10,000 people. The Bucks said 11,000 attended a Game 6 viewing party, even as more than 19,000 were inside the arena.

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Highlights of the Boston Celtics vs. the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals

“The shootings that occurred in downtown Milwaukee last night were horrific and we condemn this devastating violence,” the Bucks said in a statement. He said the watch party was canceled “to allow law enforcement to devote the necessary resources to the continued investigation of last night’s events,” but noted that Deer District businesses will remain open.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city has imposed a downtown curfew requiring everyone 20 and under to be off the street by 11 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday, when the Bucks play in Boston in the decisive Game 7.

Meanwhile, an outdoor Game 7 watch party that had been planned in the Deer District entertainment area, just outside the arena, has been cancelled. Johnson’s spokesman, Jeff Fleming, said in a text message that the team decided to cancel the event “after consulting with the city and public safety agencies.”

Johnson said those responsible for the shootings will be held accountable.

“We can’t have that in this city, or anywhere else in this state, or anywhere else in this country,” he said.

Waldner said three people, including a 16-year-old girl, were injured in the first shooting at 9:10 p.m., about five minutes before the game ended. A man was arrested.

Bill Reinemann, a parking attendant at a lot adjacent to the Deer District, said he heard gunshots and then saw dozens of people fleeing.

“It sounded like six or eight shots,” he said. “It was close.”

At 10:30 p.m., a second shooting left one wounded and at 11:09 p.m. dozens of shots rang out, in the third shooting that left 17 wounded. Five of the injured were armed and were among 10 people detained, Waldner said. Police have not yet determined what caused it.

“There were a couple of groups exchanging gunfire despite the incredible amount of police presence that was downtown,” Waldner said. “District 1 officers reported bullets whizzing past their heads.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Broken glass, empty alcohol bottles, individual shoes and two bloody shirts were reported to litter the streets in the chaotic aftermath.

Milwaukee was one of several US cities to see a record number of murders in 2021, most of them involving firearms.

Of Milwaukee’s 193 murders in 2021, 180 were with firearms. Another 873 people were injured in shootings, according to police data.

This year, the pace is even worse. Milwaukee has already recorded 77 murders, a 40 percent increase from the same period in 2021. The number of non-fatal shootings this year is 264, down two from the same period a year ago.

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