37th and Meinecke shooting; mayor describes ‘toxic’ gun violence

Five people were shot near 37th and Meinecke in Milwaukee on Thursday night, Oct. 7. A police officer and a suspect exchanged fire.

The Milwaukee Police Department said it still does not know if the officer's bullets hit anyone. Police responded to a property damage call – officers and neighbors then heard gunfire.

"Just heard all the gunshots. Pow, pow, pow," said neighbor Lula Wright.

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It all started just before 8 p.m. A 30-year-old officer found an armed suspect and they both began firing their guns. The suspect took off.

When the scene was cleared, police found four people with gunshot wounds at a house on the same block – an 18-year-old woman, a 19-year-old man, a 25-year-old woman and a 65-year-old man. All four went to the hospital and police said they are in stable condition.

Milwaukee police at shooting scene near 37th and Meinecke

Thirty minutes later, a fifth victim – a 20-year-old man – entered a hospital. Police said he had suffered serious injuries and is in critical condition.

"We obviously had a really, really tough night in Milwaukee last night," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. "And what happens when you have this toxic combination of way too many guns on the streets of this community and, unfortunately, this is not by accident, what we have is people who are deliberately breaking the law and making it possible for young people, people who legally cannot own these guns, to have these guns."

Milwaukee police at shooting scene near 37th and Meinecke

Police found a gun at the scene. MPD is not sure if the officer's shots hit anyone.

"Only out of an abundance of caution, the Milwaukee Area Investigative Team was requested to respond to the scene to conduct the investigation," said MPD Inspector Paul Formolo.

It has been a violent year in Milwaukee. MPD told FOX6 News on Friday that there have been 703 shootings in 2021 where the victim(s) survived. At the same time in 2020, that number was 552.

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It is the first time in Wright's 11 years living there that she saw anything like what transpired Thursday.

"It’s just really sad for these people getting hurt like this," Wright said. "These people should put their guns down. There’s too many people getting hurt and killed out here."

The officer was not hurt and is now on administrative duty as the investigation moves forward.

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