'We heard gunshots:' Onlookers recount terror, confusion during shooting outside Miramar Theatre

MILWAUKEE -- A night of fun and excitement quickly turned violent on Milwaukee's east side Saturday, June 1. People ran for their lives after a shooting outside the Miramar Theatre near Oakland and Locust.

As theater lights shined inside, police lights glowed outside. People began to leave the venue and were met with gunfire after police said an argument inside erupted and escalated.

Shooting outside of Miramar Theater

Hilary Chavez

"I think police were looking for bullets," said Hilary Chavez, who was eating at a nearby Thai restaurant when the shots rang out. "We heard like, three gunshots."

People cleared the street as the shooter fired multiple times into the crowd of people exiting the theater.

"We were watching people going into the Miramar. They looked like a lot of young people going in for a show. Then suddenly, everybody was rushing out like they were scared. We saw them burst through the doors and come out into the streets," said Chavez.

Ben Osband

Diners in nearby restaurants took cover.

"Everyone in the restaurant hit the floor," said Chavez. "Just better get down, and my husband pulled me down on the floor."

Workers were still shaken up Sunday morning.

"A lot of people scared, and come in here. They locked the door," said Leonel Gomez, who works nearby. "Door locked. Nobody inside."

Several businesses closed because of the chaos. Police said three people were struck by bullets.

"It's sad to hear," said Ben Osband, neighbor. "It's just sad."

Shooting outside of Miramar Theater

It was the second shooting in a week on Milwaukee's east side -- showing crime can happen anywhere.

"It's not about geography. It's about people," said Osband. "I think if we care about each other, take care of each other -- will hopefully regress."

Thankfully, police said the victims who were struck were expected to be OK. A 25-year-old man and two 20-year-old women were treated for their injuries.

Authorities continued to search for the shooter.