“A lot of police out here:” Increased police presence continues near 37th & Hadley after young children shot

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Sunday, July 27th was the third of four days of increased police presence in the area near 37th and Hadley. This, after two young children suffered gunshot wounds when they were struck by gunfire during a gun battle that occurred last week in the area.

"I've seen a lot of police out here -- cops on bikes and squads, so it's been nice. It's been really cool," neighbor Travionne Betty said.

A 10-year-old boy and an 11-year-old girl were taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds.

Police Chief Ed Flynn said Thursday, a 39-year-old man was taken into custody in connection with this shooting.

The shooting happened just before 7:15 p.m. last Wednesday, July 23rd. A neighbor's home surveillance video shows four people running from a home after the shooting.

Police say the 39-year-old suspect was on probation at the time of this shooting -- and was just recently released from prison.

He was taken into custody on violation of probation charges.

Police say the man was in a van with a woman and seven children -- between the ages of two and 11 when the shooting occurred.

Police say the man got into some sort of altercation with others in the neighborhood -- and that's when the gun battle ensued.

Some of the bullets hit the side of a home in the area, and others hit the 10-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl.

Police said the children's mother drove them to the hospital.

We learned on Thursday during a press conference involving Police Chief Ed Flynn, Mayor Tom Barrett and others that the children's mother had just recently gotten custody of her children -- after losing them due to chidl abuse.

Police said after the shooting, on Thursday, the city's Department of Neighborhood Services visited the children's home to check on it -- and the city has moved to condemn the home due to feces, cockroaches and bed bugs.

The seven children who were inside the van at the time of the shooting have been turned over to the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare.

During the press conference Thursday , Chief Flynn announced police will have a high presence in the area where this shooting occurred -- for the next four days, in an effort to help neighbors feel comfortable enjoying being outdoors on beautiful summer days -- "to give these people a taste of life in the suburbs," Chief Flynn said Thursday.

"We will do our best to recreate the environment of the suburbs -- to see people on their front porches and in their front yards. We have community partners in the faith community and on the streets of this city standing against this violence," Chief Flynn said.

"It kinda calmed down. We can taste it a little bit. Patrol cars come and sit on the blocks and corners and stuff. The kids getting shot in the alley -- it just stirred up something, you know?" neighbor Mary Davis said.

Davis says last week's shooting in which two children were struck by gunfire isn't the first time she's been impacted by violence.

"I found my husband's lifeless body -- shot two times while he was in the back," Mary Davis said.

52-year-old Herman Davis was murdered in 2012 -- just yards from where the children were shot last week.

"Next month, on the 31st, will be the two-year anniversary that he's gone," Mary Davis said.

Davis says police have yet to find her husband's killer -- but she says she takes comfort in the continued police presence on her block.

"Without the help of the police, we don't know what we would do," Davis said.

On Thursday night, police said the extra patrols in the area were already paying off. Officers in the neighborhood stopped a car for a traffic violation at 38th and Hadley. The 23-year-old driver was wanted in connection with a homicide investigation.

Police say he had two kids in the car (ages two and four) and a semi-automatic weapon, and what police say appears to be marijuana.

"We are averaging one more shooting this year per week than last year. While homicides are down, we have too  many people shot -- and too many children shot," Chief Flynn said during last week's press conference.

CLICK the video links below to view raw video from Thursday's press conference. We've included remarks from Chief Flynn, and Mayor Tom Barrett.

Chief Flynn:

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Mayor Barrett:

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  • Lone ranger

    Just released from prison? I think that May be most of the problem when it comes to all these shootings in the city. So what does everybody here think is going to happen to this guy who shot and grazed this little girl? What do you think? Probation maybe 6 months and then what? Back out on the streets again?

  • Hooptie Pete

    The news said 3 out of 4 nights, so basically by Tuesday all the extra squads will be pulled out and the animals can go back to being heathens? Not a very good idea give the enemy your withdrawal date. All they have to do is wait you out. But then again the liberal mayor and police chief aren’t very smart. Milwaukee needs the purge.

  • Not You

    Yet another scumbag sentencing children to death and / or a life of despair. One more mother of the welfare state contributing to her communities demise. Do we have no more leaders in the black community willing to stand up and say what needs to be said. For God sake, birth control is free. These kids don’t have a chance. I pray for us and our community but will no one stand up and say what needs to be said. This is not about color of skin, but content of character, and this mother has not earned the title of mom and corrupt and void of ANY level of character.

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