MILWAUKEE – Seven people were wounded Wednesday when a car pulled up to a crowd of about 100 mourners gathering for a funeral on Milwaukee’s north side and someone inside the vehicle opened fire.
The victims were all in stable condition at a local hospital Wednesday afternoon, said acting Milwaukee Police Chief Michael Brunson. He said all are expected to survive.
Brunson asked for the public’s help in identifying the shooter.
Victims ranged in age from 24 to 48 years old and were men and women, Brunson said.
Cedric Guy, owner of Serenity Funeral Home, said he was in another part of his business when he heard gunshots around 12:45 p.m.
“Once we heard the shots, we called 911,” Guy said in a phone interview. “We shut everything down. It just went crazy from there on.”
Guy estimates the number of mourners at 100 for Braxton Taylor, 26, the victim of a Sept. 17 homicide. Taylor was shot to death. His slaying is unsolved.
The funeral was scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. but was postponed after the shooting outside the funeral home.
“For the people that got hurt, I’m just sorry it happened,” said Guy.
Bri’Anna Sutch, Taylor’s cousin, arrived at the funeral home around noon for a viewing for the family ahead of the funeral service. She said she was about to step outside around 12:45 p.m. when she heard four gunshots.
“I ran downstairs with my daughter to the women’s restroom and then, a few seconds after that, I heard two or three more shots,” Sutch said in a phone interview. “It just came out of nowhere. It was scary. I was just in shock.”
A woman who walked downstairs to the bathroom with a young girl told Sutch she watched her aunt get shot. The woman went back upstairs to help the aunt while Sutch stayed in the bathroom with her 2-year-old and the young girl.
“The other little girl was screaming and crying. I just stayed there until police came,” Sutch said. “I went outside, and I saw blood everywhere. It was blood from the front entrance and all down the sidewalk.”
Sutch said it was sad that family and friends couldn’t say goodbye to her cousin in peace.
“It’s just shocking,” Sutch said. “I’m home now. I was so frightened I didn’t want to stay.”
Brunson said the Police Department’s prayers go out to the victims and their families “at this terrible time.” He also said police are trying to determine the motive for the shooting and whether it was linked to Taylor’s homicide.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett called the incident “insanity.”
“It’s the insanity of people solving their problems with guns. It’s just completely insane, and we’re seeing way too much of that in this community this year,” Barrett said at the scene.
Barrett noted that shootings in the city had declined in the previous several years until skyrocketing this year.
Contributing: Ashley Luthern