2-year-old shot on Milwaukee's north side
MILWAUKEE - A two-year-old boy is hospitalized after being shot while watching television in the home that his family moved into just one week ago.
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn says it appears the bullets may have been intended for whoever lived there previously. The gunman fired at the home near 4th and Vienna from the alley, striking a second-floor bedroom.
"We know weather can be a variable, but it's not the primary variable," said Chief Flynn at a news conference Thursday afternoon a half block from the shooting scene.
The shooting happened around 9:30pm Wednesday as the toddler's father was grilling on the patio, on one of the first warm nights of the year. It's a house that police have been called to in the past, but not for this family. They moved in just a week ago.
"We have information that gives us reason to believe this may be a retaliation that had nothing to do with the family that occupied that," said Chief Flynn.
Mayor Barrett told the media, "I want this neighborhood to be a neighborhood where grandma can sit on her front porch and watch her grandkids play safely in their front yard and I want it in every single neighborhood of the city."
Many who live here carry a sense of fear, especially for their children's safety.
Matthew lives on the block, but didn't want to be identified on camera or give his last name.
"You know, we should be able to let our kids go outside and play and even be safe inside our homes and everything like that. Things like this shouldn't be going on," said Matthew.
Chief Flynn's response to neighbors' fears: "I tell 'em, they have a right to be afraid, all right. It's a challenge to live a law abiding life in a neighborhood in which people feel like and act like criminals with impunity."
Just how to take away that impunity? Simple, says the chief. He and the mayor think Wisconsin needs to make it a felony for anyone caught illegally carrying a gun. Right now, that's a misdemeanor, no matter how many times the person's caught doing it.