Gunfire interrupts grand opening of new peace center: “Adults and children were terrified”

MILWAUKEE -- Family members of Michael Prescott, who was shot and killed in 2015, on Saturday, June 10th celebrated the grand opening of the Michael J. Prescott Peace Center near 26th and Auer. As their grand opening celebration came to an end, shots rang out in the street. Police said some of those bullets nearly struck an officer, and leaders at the peace center said children were forced to take cover.

Thankfully, no children or officers were hurt, and arrests have been made.

Grand opening celebration at Michael Prescott Peace Center

Grand opening celebration at Michael Prescott Peace Center

Michael Prescott

Meanwhile, leaders at the peace center said it's time for the neighborhood and city leaders to come together to address the violence in the community.

"We want kids from all over to come and visit and enjoy our center," Rosslind Prescott-McClinton, Michael Prescott's mother said.

The peace center is for children between the ages of four and 18. It's meant to serve as a place of education and safe entertainment during their summer break.

"We want to bring the crime down in the area and take the guns off the streets," Corey Karkwood, director said.

Prescott-McClinton said she started the center in her son's memory, and the event went on as planned Saturday until an uninvited guest interrupted it.

Rosslind Prescott-McClinton

"At the close of the event, there was a car that pulled up and we noticed that there was a large gun that was pulled out," Prescott-McClinton said.

Several shots were fired, and children and adults were forced to take cover.

"The adults and the children were terrified -- screaming and running inside of the church for safety," Prescott-McClinton said.

Milwaukee police said a plain-clothes officer was in the area at the time of the shooting, conducting an investigation. The suspect inside a vehicle fired at the officer and nearly struck him. The suspects fled and crashed their vehicle into another car.

"We don't want this to discourage people from sending their kids here because we do have security," Prescott-McClinton said.

Several guns were recovered, and two people, ages 21 and 24 have been arrested.

Prescott-McClinton said the problem is there are abandoned houses in the neighborhood that attract trouble. She's calling for an increased police patrol in the neighborhood, but most of all, she's calling on her community.

"We need to love again. It's so important that we find alternatives to our problems," Prescott-McClinton said.

Prescott-McClinton is reaching out to her alderman to see what can be done to increase safety in the area.

Michael J. Prescott Peace Center

The center officially opens Monday. More than 100 children are registered to attend.