Milwaukee – The Bucks canceled a game seven viewing party on Sunday against the Boston Celtics after 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near a downtown Milwaukee recreation area at the end of the Game 6 Eastern Conference semifinal game Friday night.
Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson’s spokesman, Cavalier Johnson, said in a text that the team decided to cancel the event “after consulting with the city and public safety agencies.”
In a separate statement, the Bucks family said, “The shooting that occurred in downtown Milwaukee last night was appalling and we condemn this devastating violence,” adding that the surveillance party has been canceled “to allow law enforcement to allocate resources to the ongoing investigation into the events of the night.” . The team noted that the Deer District business will remain open.
The observation party likely attracted over 10,000 people. The Bucks said 11,000 attended a Game 6 viewing party there, even with more than 19,000 others inside the Fiserv Forum.
Three people were shot near the area outside the Fiserv Forum at the end of Friday night’s game, sending fans into the streets. Police said one person was wounded in a second shooting, before a third was fired less than a mile from the square, with 17 people injured, not life-threatening.
A 16-year-old man and girl injured in the first shooting were rushed to a local hospital Friday night, while a third person drove there, according to the Milwaukee Fire Department. All three had non-life-threatening injuries.
Police said a 19-year-old man had been in custody since the first shooting and that the charges were under review by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office. No one was arrested in the second shooting, said Nicole Waldner, the assistant chief of police.
Police said that ten people were arrested and nine firearms were seized from the third shooting, describing the incident as a shootout between two groups of people.
“What makes people think that they can shoot in a public street or in a recreational area, whether the police are present or not?” Waldner said at a press conference this afternoon.
Waldner said five of those wounded in the third shooting were armed and among the 10 people detained.
Johnson said the city has imposed a downtown area curfew that requires everyone 20 years of age or younger to be off the street by 11 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Additional police patrols are also planned.
“We can’t have that in this city, nor anywhere else in this state, nor anywhere else in this country,” Johnson said.
Milwaukee police did not say whether the shootings were connected, and investigations are still ongoing.
Bucks fans began gathering in the Deer District during the team’s march to the NBA Championship last season. With a chance to win the Eastern Conference semi-final series against the Celtics and on a warm day after a long winter, Friday was the fans’ first chance to pick up on the tradition. The team had installed metal detectors around the bars and the entrance to the stage outside the arena.
The first shooting took place outside that perimeter, one block from the Fiserv Forum.
Witnesses outside the arena said they heard gunshots with just over a minute remaining in the final quarter of Boston’s 108-95 victory that tied the series 3-3, and those shots drove many in the crowd into a frenzy, running in several directions.
A large police presence remained outside the stadium hours after the match, with police recording several intersections nearby.
Jamal Collier of ESPN and The Associated Press Contribute to this report.