Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett: Majority of weekend shootings not 'random acts of violence'

Posted at 6:25 PM, May 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 11:02:03-04

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett spoke Monday regarding the 14 separate shootings that took place over Memorial Day Weekend.

According to police, four people were killed and 14 others injured, including two children.

"The majority of these incidents are not random acts of violence," said Barrett. "In fact, many of the victims and offenders have some connection."

Police say several of the shootings stemmed from an argument or fight. Four were robbery related and three are still being investigated.

Barrett said there have been 40 homicides since the beginning of the year. At this time last year, 42 people had been killed.

Barrett said several of this weekend's shootings involved felons illegally possessing firearms.

"We're hovering around 1,000 guns that have been seized by the Milwaukee Police Department this year already," said Barrett.

He said the Office of Violence Prevention is currently working on a comprehensive anti-violence plan. A draft of the plan was released in March.

Barrett says the city plans to have an update on that plan's progress by the end of June.

"Of course there's an emphasis on making sure the streets are safe, police protection, but it goes far beyond that," said Barrett. "You're going to have some people who want it to be strictly a law enforcement document, others are going to say it needs to be more comprehensive. Certainly it's going to be more comprehensive in the approach that it's taking."

He said in many of this weekend's incidents, people knew they were going to a situation where there might be gunfire. Barrett offered this message to parents:

"If you're a mother or a father or grandparent watching this and you've got a young person in your life and they're telling you they need to take a gun to protect themselves, my response is maybe you shouldn't be going there," said Barrett.