RACINE, Wis. — Two people were injured at a cemetery south of Milwaukee on Thursday as multiple shots were fired in the direction of a funeral service Thursday afternoon, police said.
Sgt. Kristi Wilcox said a juvenile was treated and released and a second person was flown to a hospital in Milwaukee. Authorities described the shooting as a “critical” incident and urged people to stay away.
It was not immediately known if any suspects were in custody.
Just before 2:30 p.m., multiple shots were fired at Racine Graceland Cemetery in Racine, about 30 miles south of Milwaukee, Racine Police Department announced on Twitter.
Ascension All Saints Hospital in Racine was on lockdown “out of an abundance of caution” following the shooting, the hospital said in a statement. It later lifted the lockdown.
The shooting on Thursday occurred at the interment for Da’Shontay L. King Sr., the man fatally shot by Racine police last month, King’s sister, Natasha Mullen, said.
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“We were at the gravesite trying to get prepared to bury him, and bullets started flying everywhere,” Mullen told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, part of the USA TODAY Network. “I was just trying to bury my brother and almost lost my life doing so.”
A Racine police officer fatally shot King, 37, during a traffic stop on May 20. Police said they were carrying out a search warrant on a vehicle when King, who they said had a handgun, ran from the car. The officer, Zachary B. Brenner, then fatally shot King.
It’s unclear exactly why Brenner shot King.
Racine police said King “took an action” that prompted Brenner to shoot, but the Wisconsin Department of Justice did not mention such an action in a statement.
The shooting comes a day after a gunman killed four people at a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is the latest in a series of mass shootings in the United States including the deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and an attack on a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Witnesses recount ‘spray of bullets’
Ken Rorek, who lives in the neighborhood, called the shooting unexpected and sad.
“Regardless what happened to (King), it’s still a sad situation. There should be no retaliation, or whatever happened. Let the family bury him in peace,” he said.
Tre Brantley, 19, was playing basketball at Lockwood Park, next to the cemetery, when suddenly “bullets were whistling past us.” Brantley said it’s remarkable that no one at the park was hit.
“If we were in different spots on the court, I’m pretty sure one of us would’ve been hit,”
he said. “There was a lot of people at the park.”
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Brantley said about 30 minutes before the shooting, a group of children were playing on the basketball court with someone who might have been a teacher. Brantley, who lives nearby, commented on the spread of gun violence.
“You move out of bad neighborhoods only for the same thing to happen here,” he said.
Alissa Miller was in the backyard of her parents’ house, across from the cemetery, with her children and other relatives when she heard a “spray of bullets.”
“Immediately, we knew it was gunshots,” she said.
The adults began telling the children to go inside. Then, in the next moment, they heard screams.
“It was terrified, horrific screaming,” Miller said. “It was unmistakable.”
Miller estimates 20 to 30 bullets were fired in a quick barrage, followed by a handful of single shots. Miller, who grew up in the home across from the cemetery, said the outburst of violence is highly unusual for the neighborhood.
“It’s been such a safe and quiet neighborhood where everybody knows everybody,” she said. “I don’t know that anything remotely close to this has ever happened.”
Ascension All Saints Hospital, also next to the cemetery, went on lockdown, according to a hospital spokesperson. The emergency department was still accepting patients and people with previously scheduled appointments could keep them.
The hospital did not say how many people it was treating from the shooting.
Contributing: The Associated Press