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'Unacceptable on all levels': Fight over social media post leads to shooting near school, 5 injured

Police are seeking a known suspect
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Posted at 9:51 PM, Feb 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-02 18:26:15-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee police said a fight over a social media post is what led to five people being shot outside of Rufus King High School Tuesday night.

During a press conference Wednesday morning, Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said the incident began with two people who were fighting outside of the school during a girls basketball game. A group gathered to watch the fight when police say an adult male fired a gun.

Those gunshots hit five people. None of the gunshot victims were on the scene when police arrived.

Around 7:45 p.m., three of gunshot victims arrived at one hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Two others arrived at another hospital around 10 p.m. also with non-life-threatening injuries. All of their ages are 15, 15, 16, 17, and 20.

rufus king high school
Police scene near 18th and Olive in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee police said they are still investigating whether any of the victims shot were involved in the initial fight. They are looking for the known male who fired the gun, as well as additional suspects who could have been involved in the fight.

Chief Norman also said they believe there is no threat to Milwaukee public schools.

The chief adds that while the basketball game was an MPS-sponsored event, they don't know if all the students involved in the incident are enrolled in MPS.

At the end of the conference, Chief Norman gave an impassioned speech when talking about crime in the city and the accountability of adults to act as role models for the youth in Milwaukee. Hear what he said below.

“To have adults respond to a situation like this and use that level of violence, it’s unacceptable,” said Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman. “Unacceptable on all levels. Accountability is real. This is not going to be tolerated in this city. Absolutely not.”

“Kids in our city were shot over Facebook,” said Cavalier Johnson, Acting Mayor of Milwaukee. “And an even worse part about it is that while those kids who were shot because of social media, it was the adults in their lives that brought the guns into the equation.”

Part of the challenge, city leaders acknowledge, is that their plea for people to do the right thing and stop the violence, is nothing new. Yet, the shootings continue.

“We’re tired of this,” said Arnitta Hollimann, the Director of Milwaukee’s Office of Violence Prevention. “I know we keep saying it. But we all mean it. Kids in this city should be worried about being shot by adults. If you are not working to stop fights, or trying to do better, then you are an accomplice in the blood shed.”

The Superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools says safety measures were in place to keep everyone inside the school safe Tuesday night.

“We do pre-sale of tickets so that we know who’s coming, all spectators are scanned upon entry to the game, and we have trained event security staff that has protocol in place,” said Dr. Keith Posley. “We were fully staffed at that game Tuesday night. I commend the security workers there for keeping everyone inside the school safe.”

But everyone, especially parents of Rufus King High School students, can agree that the fight outside never should have escalated the way it did.

“We were at home when we got the alert,” said Lakesha Richmond-Hern, who has two daughters who attend Rufus King. “It was a code red alert and my heart dropped. My 15-year-old daughter was at a different high school basketball game. You know, you drop off your kids at a game and you leave, and you’re trusting they’re okay. It’s scary to think we need to have conversations about what to do if you’re at a game and there’s a shooting. It’s horrible.”

Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson says he’s going to be talking with MPD to determine if a constant police presence should be added to Milwaukee Public Schools.

'It's terrifying': Reaction from witness

Deanna Lee didn’t get much sleep, after hearing gunshots ring out just down the road from her front door. Her cousin was at the game, when things took a turn.

“This is exactly why I don't have my phone on Do Not Disturb, exactly why I always keep my phone in my hand because, especially for example, like last night, my cousin [was] blowing up my phone,” said Lee.

Deanna says minutes later, her cousin came running into the house, nearly knocking over her pregnant girlfriend, bringing the sounds of the night right through their front door.

“The shots were loud, so we definitely heard them and screaming. It was terrible, because than it wasn't just one scream. It was multiple. So, it wasn't like you couldn't just ignore it. You know, no one could ignore it. You definitely wanted to get up to see what was going on,” said Lee.

As she thinks about the five people hurt in the shooting, including four teenagers, just like her cousin, Deanna says the spike in violence is at the top of her mind.

“It's terrifying waking up every morning, knowing that you can be gone or your little sister can be gone just because of the violence has been picking up,” said Lee.

Deanna tells us that once she found out classes were in session, she decided to walk her cousin to school, just to keep an eye on her for a little bit longer.

If you know anything about this incident, contact the Milwaukee Police Department at 414-935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at 414-224-TIPS.

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