Shooting near Rufus King HS; 5 wounded after social media dispute

Milwaukee police say a dispute over Facebook led to a fight between two females and gunfire outside of Rufus King High School on Tuesday evening, Feb. 1. Five females were wounded by that gunfire – and an adult male is being sought.

Officials laid out the details of the incident in a news conference on Wednesday morning. They say officers responded to a report of a fight outside of Rufus King High School around 7:25 p.m. Tuesday. While officers were en route, the fight was upgraded to a shooting.

When officers arrived on the scene, they did not locate any shooting victims. But their investigation revealed there had been a fight between two females outside the school -- during the school's high school basketball game.

Shooting scene near Rufus King High School, Milwaukee

As a large group gathered to watch this fight, an adult male suspect discharged a firearm multiple times -- which resulted in injuries to five people.

At 7:45 p.m., three female victims, ages 15, 16, and 17, arrived at a hospital reporting non-fatal injuries from the gunfire. Around 10 p.m., two additional female victims, ages 15 and 20, arrived at a different hospital -- also reporting gunshot injuries. All five victims were injured when the shots were fired outside of Rufus King High School. Nobody inside the school was hurt. 

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The argument that led to the fight stemmed from an social media dispute, police say. 

Shooting scene near Rufus King High School, Milwaukee

John Miller, who lives near Rufus King, peeked out of his blinds to see what was happening outside. 

"They started to argue and I heard the yelling and everything," Miller said. "Right at that point, I’m closing my blinds and it was like flash bulbs went behind my blinds. And I opened it back up and saw two girls on the ground. One girl limping away. A black car came speeding up the street, they jumped in it and took off."

Reaction

"Last night, over yet again, over what seems to be a silly, stupid dispute on Facebook, on social media, guns entered the foray -- and people were shot; kids in our city were shot over Facebook," said Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson. "And the worst part about it is that, while those kids were shot, it was the adults in their lives that brought the guns into the equation."

Acting Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson

"To have adults respond to a situation like this and use that level of violence. It's unacceptable. Unacceptable on all levels," said Milwaukee Police Chief Jeffrey Norman. "And I have this message to those adults who don't understand what that means -- accountability is real. This is not going to be tolerated in this city. Absolutely not."

"Everyone has to do something -- and I know we all keep saying this," said Arnitta Holliman of the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention. "Either you help us in this fight to prevent and interrupt this violence, or you are a bystander while blood is shed."

Arnitta Holliman

Security at Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Keith Posley said his heart goes out the victims of this shooting incident – and he wishes each one of them a speedy recovery.

Posley said safety and the well-being of students is a top priority for the district. He also indicated it's time to look at safety managers that are currently in place. The district already has in place the following: 

  • Presale of tickets to athletic events
  • Scanning of all spectators upon entry
  • Trained events staff that has security protocol in place

Milwaukee Public Schools Superintendent Keith Posley

Anyone with any information on this incident is urged to contact Milwaukee Police at 414-935-7360 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 414-224-Tips or P3 Tips App.

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