Group calls for change during prayer vigil after lakefront shooting

Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-13 08:16:32-04

People gathered at Milwaukee's lakefront for a prayer vigil a day after a Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputy shot two people after a car chase.

"We thank you for gathering us for such a time as this," said Markasa Tucker, as she led the group in prayer.

The gathering formed hours after the Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke offered some information about what happened Sunday night. He said a traffic violation turned into a chase when the driver did not pull over. 

"The driver of the fleeing vehicle, Terry Williams, 19 years of age male, black suffered a gunshot wound to the head and is on life support," Clarke said.

A woman passenger was also shot in the shoulder and hand, and was hospitalized with non life-threatening injuries.

The sheriff said the deputy was on foot patrol when another deputy started to chase William's car. It happened while the lakefront was packed with people.

Those who organized the prayer and speaker vigil Monday night said they wanted to give people a chance to talk about what they saw or how they felt.

"It was tragic; I think like it was real sad," said Eboni Harris, who came to the gathering because she was on the beach.

"I don't think the shooting should have happened. I know that there were people standing all around, young people that I serve, standing all around," said Thomas Leonard who works with youth in the community.

"I am tired, I am sickened. My heart is broken. I cried all morning. And then I bounced back and said, ‘OK, what's next?’," Tucker said.

It was not lost on those attending that the number of sheriff's deputies at the beach at one point was bigger than their crowd. But they say change starts by talking to each other.

"We are going to organize, going to continue to build and change policies in the direction we know will be helpful to the people," Tucker said.

And they hope that starts today for some people.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Office is investigating the shooting.