gun violence

Ann-Elise Henzl

Milwaukee’s homicide rate far exceeds last year’s at this time. Outbursts of violence have punched several neighborhoods particularly hard.

Last weekend, for instance, bullets struck five people who had gathered to mourn the killing of a teen. The COA Goldin Center at 23rd and Burleigh is about one-half mile away from the quintuple shooting.

At the end of the school day, the center’s basketball courts are packed. So is a table where high schoolers are playing chess. The scene in the Amani neighborhood appears picture-perfect. Quan Caston can’t say the same about the area.

Facebook/The Salvation Army Milwaukee

Since the beginning of the year, our Precious Lives series has been telling the story of the impact gun violence has on people and communities. When the media does stories about mass shootings, we often hear that counseling services are made available to people who were traumatized by the incident.

But that’s not something that always – or even often – happens with a single, isolated murder, even though those incidents can be just as traumatic as the high-profile cases. 

LaToya Dennis

Black Lives Matter. The phrase has become a rallying cry across the U.S. among people upset about cases of police brutality against black men.

In Milwaukee, another movement is afoot. It aims to let people know that black love also matters.

One organizer of the Black Love movement is Shawn Muhammad. He’s better known in the community as Gat Turner – an emcee and spoken word artist.

“The string of recent events with gun violence and fighting and a lot of drama that’s going on in our community, we believe that that’s a result of self-hatred,” Muhammad says.

Ariel Dovas / Flickr

Milwaukee is in the midst of a violent spring. The number of murders is up significantly from this point a year ago, and non-fatal shootings have been front page news as children are hit by stray gunfire.

    

The question a lot of people in Milwaukee want the answer to is, how does the community stop the gun violence? People gathered at a number of locations over the weekend to discuss the problem.

One case particularly disturbed residents last week. A gunman shot the driver to death, who accidentally struck and killed a toddler. The gunman also killed the toddler’s 15-year-old brother and eventually himself.

Marti Mikkelson

There is great concern in Milwaukee about the explosion of violence that has occurred in the central city. Within a 48-hour period, seven people died, most from gunshots.

The streak began on Sunday, when someone gunned down the driver who accidentally hit and killed a toddler who had run into the street. Another bullet struck the toddler’s 15-year old brother.

Ethel Woods comes to the Clinton Rose Center three times a week to exercise and chat with friends. She says the latest round of gun violence has left her shaking her head in disbelief.

Mayor Tom Barrett says state leaders must help address the the city's gun violence. Milwaukee’s homicide rate is running 160 percent ahead of last April.

He criticizes people who lose control of their emotions and pull the trigger and new state laws that allow more people to possess guns.

“You’ve got this horrible combination, this toxic formula of lack of control and let's just flood these streets with more guns. Let’s just flood these streets with more guns, and this is what you get, as a result,” Barrett says.

Pastors from Milwaukee's central city are banding together to form block watches, in hopes of preventing more gun violence.

Clergy members held a news conference outside Tabernacle Community Baptist Church Tuesday night.

Minister Gregory Lewis says each church in the area is going to adopt a block, and encourage neighbors to keep watch and look out for each other.

LaToya Dennis

Tragedy again struck Milwaukee this past weekend as a baby boy was shot and killed.

Investigators report a promising lead in the shooting death of a young boy on Milwaukee’s northwest side. 

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