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Adult man fired gun that injured 5 outside Rufus King High School, Milwaukee police say

Milwaukee officials Wednesday expressed utter frustration and disappointment after a man fired a gun during a fight outside Rufus King High School on Tuesday, injuring four teens and a woman.

All five victims are expected to survive their injuries, but after an uncharacteristically violent January, officials on Wednesday were angered to see violence escalate to such extremes in front of a high school that was hosting a girls basketball game.

“We need adults to do their part to decrease, to mitigate, to interrupt conflict and to teach young people the best way forward, and if you as an adult need that assistance we will also help you learn the conflict mediation skills as well,” said Arnitta Holliman, the director of the city’s Office of Violence Prevention.

"At this point either you help us in this fight to prevent and interrupt violence or you are a bystander while blood is shed," she added.

Police Chief Jeffrey Norman said officers were dispatched to the 4100 block of North 19th Street, outside the school, at 7:25 p.m. for a report of a fight. The school was hosting Washington High

School for a girls basketball game at the time. While en route, that call was upgraded to a shooting, but no victims were located upon the officers' arrival.

Investigators determined that two females started physically fighting outside the building, which attracted a large group of onlookers, Norman said. Eventually, an adult male known to police discharged a gun multiple times.

That suspect, and others involved in the initial fight, are still being sought by police.

Three victims, ages 15,16 and 17, arrived at a hospital at 7:45 p.m. with nonfatal injuries from the shooting. Around 10 p.m., two other victims, ages 15 and 20, arrived at a different hospital, also with nonfatal injuries, Norman said.

Norman said the entire incident stemmed from a dispute over social media. Without detailing it, he said it did not rise to the level of physical fighting and "definitely" was not cause for gunfire.

Acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson called it a "silly, stupid dispute on Facebook."

"To have adults respond to a situation like this and use that level of violence, it's unacceptable,"

Norman said, his voice rising at times. "It's unacceptable on all levels. And I'll 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."

Nobody inside the school was injured from the shooting. Milwaukee Public Schools

Superintendent Keith Posley said the district oflfer pre-sale tickets, so organizers know who is attending, use metal scanners on all spectators and use a trained event staflFwith a security protocol.

In 2020, amid rising tensions between police and community members after George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis, the board for Milwaukee Public Schools a to s to patrol outside its buildings and events.

Holliman said her office's team of violence interrupters, called 414Life, is working with youth in 10 Milwaukee schools, but did not say if Rufus King or Washington high schools were among them.


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