Three people were shot and wounded while seven Milwaukee police officers and one firefighter were hurt amid a chaotic scene on Milwaukee’ west side on Tuesday that spawned civil unrest and a house fire.
Police identified the victims as two 14-year-old children and a 24-year-old man, who were shot during the unrest but not by police. The three were being treated for non-life-threatening injuries at a local hospital.
As the unrest escalated, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd Tuesday night as tensions rose and rumors spread online.
Authorities said the shooting victims were part of a massive crowd gathered at a house which was the scene of an investigation into two missing teenage girls. The girls — a 15-year-old and 13-year-old — were last seen around 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 21, near 21st and Locust Streets, according to Milwaukee police. The 13-year-old girl has since been located.
Police were investigating whether the girls were victims of sex trafficking.
Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales denounced the unrest as vigilantism and said some people were reacting to information that had not been proven.
Between Monday and Tuesday, police checked a house on the 2100 block of North 40th Street on “multiple occasions” to search for the missing girls, Morales said. He added the girls weren’t found in the home.
The chief declined to give details about the 13-year-old’s whereabouts.
“We have not received the cooperation we would have expected from family,” Morales said.
Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, Morales said a group of people tried to get into the home to search for the girls.
Police responded to a call for shots fired, Morales said.
Those shots were between someone inside the residence where the girls were believed to be and someone trying to gain entry, Morales said.