“Take control of our blocks:” City officials share outrage over shooting of nine-year-old girl

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Anger and outrage -- those are just a few of the words Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett used to describe the feeling of city leaders and law enforcement after a nine-year-old girl was shot in a home Thursday night, May 5th during a recent bout of gun violence.

Za'layia Jenkins

Za'layia Jenkins

Za'layia Jenkins was shot near 15th and Meinecke on Thursday, May 5th during a "shootout" between two groups of armed individuals. It happened around 8:20 p.m. The nine-year-old girl was taken to a hospital, where she was in critical condition.

The mayor made a few pleas to the public because this situation is disturbing on many levels. FOX6 News spoke with the little girl's family who says she was shot in the head and remains in critical condition.

Just last week, the child who was jumping rope, came across an officer in her neighborhood patrolling and asked how can police keep her safe.

Bullet holes pierced doors, windows, and the walls of a home near 15th and Meinecke.9-year-old shot

"High caliber guns. The report is there were probably at least 40 shots that were fired last night around that porch," said Mayor Barrett. 9-year-old shot2

The affects of Thursday night's tragedy reverberated the next morning, as city leaders gathered seeking justice and peace for Za'Layia Jenkins and her family.

"My heart aches for the mother of the nine-year-old who is sitting in the hospital, praying and hoping her daughter makes it," said Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs.

Family members tell FOX6, the child was struck in the head when bullets came flying through a home while she sat watching television.

"What I am asking residents of this city to do right now, today, is to help us find the people who caused this crime," said Barrett. Tom Barrett

Mayor Barrett and several city and county officials called on the community to not only speak up, but help break the cycle of these disturbing scenes we see all too often.

"Our children should not be in the battle zone," said Coggs.

Standing in a community garden...

"This is a site that is filled with hope," said Barrett. Garden

They echo the need for positive things to get the youth involved in, such as the efforts put forth by Andre Lee Ellis' group, "We Got This," which molds young men into positive role models and teaches them how to be involved.

"To take control of our blocks, it's for us to take control of our community for us to do the things necessary to create greater opportunities for our children," said Coggs.

Local leaders spoke of how key that is, because no one is immune to being near violence, so it's imperative to help stop it.

In attendance at Friday's news conference was Mayor Tom Barrett, Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, Alderwoman Milele Coggs and Reggie Moore, who heads up the city's Office of Violence Prevention.

Thursday night's shooting was also on the same block where District 9 Alderwoman Chantia Lewis lives with her family as well.

Google Map for coordinates 43.062623 by -87.931388.


  • Chattipatti65

    Correct, how many more will have to die??????? Every time a child gets shot or killed everyone in the community is outraged for a second, then on to the next story. Sad

  • Chattipatti65

    If you start hitting the parents in their pockets, all of this mess would stop. The parents need to take some accountability, but if you mention hitting the pockets of parents everyone would say awww that’s not right. The curfew is 10 no one follows this rule. What will they get when caught, a slap on the hand. My son was acting up in school, and they were getting ready to fine me, we got him straight real quick.

    • Wilson

      Hit the parents in the pocket? Ha ha, good luck finding the parents as they aren’t around and don’t give a rats ass. If you could find them a hole Barrett would give them a handout to pay their fines. What a freaking joke he is and his cowardly weasel spineless jellyfish chief Flynn.

  • Libsareliars

    The points are being made to prove what years of liberalism result in. Why don’t you shut your hole moron!!

  • Amerie

    part of the problem is the fact that a cop has to take a bullet in the chest in order to justify doing what it takes to apprehend a violent criminal in this day and age. The attitudes of a few have taken over and turned this city into an utter hell hole for all.

  • Barrett and Flynn are pathetic!!

    Unless they were BORN in Africa,they are NOT African Americans,they are Americans,like everyone else born here. It’s a different culture,the black community,violence,no respect,no morals,entitlement mentality,(NOT all live that lifestyle/stereotype thank God,but rise above it and better themselves.) The bad ones bring themselves and their race down. They have no one to blame,but themselves,yet all the Godless library politicians will blame Whitey,just to get their votes!!

  • Henry J

    Barrett os outraged. The city is outraged at his total lack of action on the issue. Quit blaming the situation on the gun and go after the characters using the guns. Mayor inaction. Focused like a laser on his trolley to no where.

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  • Frank B

    Office of violence prevention? Really? Good luck in that position buddy! How is the office of violence prevention going to work? Unless they have the power to put people into mandatory how to live your life like a decent law abiding citizen vs living the entitlement thug life program I can’t see the office of violence prevention making a hill of beans difference. Generations if morons are raising more morons and it is getting worse every year! It all comes down to personal responsibility and since we can’t control people’s dumb ass decisions we need to concentrate on holding them accountable for those dumb ass decisions. Lock them up and throw away the key and instead of letting them watch tv and eat for free on the taxpayers dime, make all prisoners attend all day long change your life around training. Look at that. Problem solved and more jobs are created as well. Win win for society

  • liberal

    Guns stores and shows need to be shut down. Anyone who promotes guns or selling of guns needs to be arrested and delt with by government . The government needs to slap a firm hand against the citizens.


    Years of liberal rule and nothing to show for it. Blacks need to step up and start turning in all the felons and rid themselves of these bad people. Also teens have to quit having children out of wedlock with multiple baby daddy’s for welfare. Entitlement leaches it’s time to put on your work boots once the great divider is out of office. Yes he had his chance.

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