Bradford Beach-goers cautiously return after weekend shooting

Posted at 5:00 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-12 18:00:00-04

There were a lot of folks out at Bradford Beach Monday despite the shooting that left two hospitalized less than 24 hours before, but most people weren't able to fully relax and enjoy the beach day.

A Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy shot a 19-year-old man in the head while police pursued his vehicle for a traffic infraction on Lincoln Memorial Drive near the beach Sunday night. The passenger of the vehicle was also shot in the shoulder.  

"I was really surprised," said Melissa Fultz of Milwaukee. "A lot of people come down here."

Fultz works as a nanny and brought the girl she watches to the beach to enjoy the day, Monday. She wasn't going to let the shooting change that.

"This kind of stuff unfortunately happens all over Milwaukee," Fultz said. "If I let that kind of stuff deter me from doing the things Milwaukee has to offer, I'd be a hermit and have to live in my house all day. That would be silly to do so I'm going to keep doing what I do."

Fultz sentiment was shared by many on the beach, but with careful eyes.

"It's completely unfortunate what happened," said Nina Wellinghoff, a sophomore at UWM. "We have to be cautious of our surroundings. It's not going to stop us from going to the beach."

"You can't not go somewhere because you hear something is going on," said Monique Vanfelder, a senior at Concordia. "Shootings can happen anywhere."

Vanfelder has great memories at Bradford Beach with her family and friends growing up. So while she's concerned about the incident, she feels she'll be kept safe at the beach.

"Sometimes it runs through my head, like what would be the safest place to go," Vanfelder said. "But I do depend on law enforcement to do their jobs and keep us as safe as possible. I'm pretty sure security will get bumped up here at the lake because of what's going on. Law enforcement is doing as good as they can and the best they can to try and keep the city safe."

Milwaukee County Emergency Management Director Christine Westrick says there won't necessarily be an increased police presence at the beach but rather a heightened awareness of people there.

She says people will be more aware of the police they see because they're aware of the situation. She assures beach-goers the presence will be sufficient to keep them safe.