MILWAUKEE - Friday night brought chaos to Water Street. Seventeen people were shot following the Bucks' game. One bar owner says that's not what the street is all about.
Andrea Shafton has owned bars on Water Street for more than 40 years. On a normal night, she says this area is all about having a good time, but she says with the playoffs came problems.
"I’m just glad no one was killed," said Shafton. "It was an unfortunate situation."
The violence and mayhem are not what Shafton is used to seeing.
"We had a bad problem on Friday night," said Shafton. "That’s not indicative of who we are or how we operate our businesses."
After the Bucks' playoff game, the streets were packed, and shots rang out. Seventeen people were injured on Water Street.
"We don’t have the problem normally, but for some reason, during the Bucks playoffs, it becomes a problem," said Shafton.
Shafton said spillover from the Deer District brought loitering in the streets, and with the crowds came some problems, something she thinks can be avoided.
"I think a stronger police presence would’ve been helpful," said Shafton.
On top of that, she'd like to see an even stricter curfew policy for the downtown street.
"We don’t want people under 21 in a bar/entertainment district," said Shafton.
Shafton has made changes to her bars, Duke's and Scooter's, with tighter security for anyone coming inside. She'd like to see other places wanding customers and patting them down.
"If they know they can’t get into bars if they have weapons, any bars, they will probably be more likely to leave them in their cars or go somewhere else," said Shafton.
Shafton is calling for change after a scary night, looking forward to this street getting back to normal.
"It’s great," said Shafton. "It’s a great entertainment district."
Shafton also said the comments made earlier in the week by Alderman Bob Bauman about downtown not being safe after 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays were ridiculous. She said leaders need to focus on protecting this area.