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Impact of traumatic violence on victims following viral doorbell shooting video

"Their brains still remember and their brains still form neural connections on what happened to them,"
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Posted at 5:41 PM, Jan 20, 2023

MILWAUKEE — It's a disturbing video that's shocking people all over Milwaukee. A homeowner shared footage her doorbell camera caught of a man walking up to her house Monday afternoon, ringing her doorbell twice, and then shooting at her home before walking away.

WATCH: Unknown man shoots at Milwaukee woman's home

Man shoots up home on 17th Street

"There's no excuse for that. No excuse at all," said community activist, Vaun Mayes.

The homeowner, who did not want to be identified, says her house had been shot at, at least eight different times. Some of the bullet holes can be seen on the outside of the house along 17th Street. They also went through her downstairs window where she says she and her family had been just prior to the shooting.

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"I don't know when it became cool to shoot into homes, shoot into vehicles where women and children are, or, may be," said Mayes. "I think people are not only just becoming more bold, I think the care is less."

Milwaukee police say they arrested the 46-year-old involved in the shooting Friday morning. But while he may be behind bars, clinical psychologist Dr. Ashely Schoof says violent crimes like this can have a traumatic impact on families who experience it. Especially children.

"Their brains still remember and their brains still form neural connections on what happened to them," said Dr. Schoof, the clinical director of the STRONG Milwaukee Center.

That's why she says it's critical that children get the mental help they need as soon as possible in order to break the cycle of violence.

"Negative experiences lead to negative neural connections, which leads to eventual negative behavior," said Dr. Schoof. "The moment you realize that their behavior is due to something that happened to them, know that it's on a brain level, it's on a neurological level and there is help that can happen."

Violence prevention advocates say that trauma can also extend into the community.

"It's a trauma for not just the people it happened to, but for us watching it. To continue to see the city go down this path. And to understand this may happen to anyone of us at any time," said Mayes.

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