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'We need to stop this foolishness:' Recent violence in MKE frustrates community business leaders

Posted at 5:19 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 19:01:48-05

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Police are searching for suspects in two fatal shootings that happened on Monday.

The first happened around 4:30 p.m. near 38th and Center. A 58-year-old man was shot and killed inside a liquor store.

"I heard the shooting," said Rickey Potts. "I even called one of the other business owners across the street and I asked him who, somebody shooting like this at almost five o' clock in the afternoon?"

Then around 9:45 p.m. police went to a home near 14th and Manitoba to try to save 26-year-old man who had also been shot. The man did not survive.

Rickey Potts lives and runs a nail shop with his wife down the street from the liquor store on Center Street. Potts also runs the Business Improvement District for the area. He said he's devastated to hear the man he calls "Mike" was killed. He's also frustrated about how this hinders economic progress for the block.

"It intimidates the employees here, it intimidates my wife, my daughter, who, we live in this community, that we got to worry about somebody might shoot through here," Potts said. "We need to stop this foolishness."

In the meantime, Potts said his wife was attending the funeral for Darnell Woodard, a 21-year-old who was shot and killed more than a week ago near 44th and Center. He is the son of Camille Mays, a community activist who works to curb violence in Milwaukee.

Community leaders say they can't just get help from police. They believe investment and economic opportunity will drastically reduce crime.

"People would have to have a value for the people who live here and that's what I believe is lacking," said Danell Cross, the executive director of Metcalfe Park Community Bridges. "Value these children, value these lives and invest in these communities, so that it will be communities of opportunity and not just communities of trauma."

If you have any information, contact Milwaukee Police or Milwaukee Crime Stoppers at 224-TIPS.