Amid violent Milwaukee weekend, group targets prevention

Milwaukee's weekend got off to a violent start, five shootings wounding six people in a roughly four-hour span Saturday morning, Aug. 13.

While those people are expected to survive, the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort Education Fund (WAVE) said it still leaves damage for victims.

"Our hearts are breaking for the people who are victims this weekend and for the families," said Heidi Johnson, WAVE communications and public relations associate. "We know that gun violence is absolutely preventable."

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WAVE's goal is to prevent shootings from happening in the first place.

"Even if they survive and fully recover from their wounds, we know this is the kind of thing that stays with a person for their entire life," Johnson said.

Wounds may not stay visible, but the damage lingers. One of Saturday's shootings happened near Leon and Hoyt. FOX6 News spoke to a woman who lives nearby. She didn't want to go on camera, but said bullets hit and went into her house where she lives with her children.

WAVE is focused on prevention through education and research-based solutions.

"For example we know that background checks on all gun sales does in fact reduce gun violence," Johnson said. "We can contact our legislators at the state and federal level and ask them to support some of those research-based solutions."

Johnson said the community can help, too, by supporting programs that tackle some of gun violence's root causes.

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"We know there’s a very high rate of correlation between gun violence and things like poverty or access to affordable housing or access to health care," she said. "Public health research shows that when any one of those things is improved, fewer people are shot."

The victims of Saturday morning's shootings range in age from 23 to 46.

Friday, police said three shootings hurt two people and killed a 20-year-old woman.