MILWAUKEE — Monday night marked another shooting in Milwaukee that left a 15-year-old dead and five others injured. It spurred response from a statewide anti-violence group focused on lowering crime in Wisconsin.
The shooting happened at abouty 11:25 p.m., according to police. A 15-year-old male, identified as Davion Patterson, was pronounced dead at the scene from his injuries. Five others were taken to local hospitals for non-fatal injuries, including a 22-year-old female, an 18-year-old female, a 21-year-old female, a 19-year-old female and another 22-year-old female.
Jeri Bonavia is the executive director of the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, also known as WAVE. It’s a grassroots organization that looks to prevent gun violence.
WAVE’s ultimate goal is to end heartbreak, as Wisconsinites continue to lose loved ones to violent crime. Bonavia said, especially in light of the Monday shooting, there is a lot of work to be done to reach that result.
“Our first response is that of mourning. I mean, it is very difficult to be doing this work and hearing day after day about the people who are losing their lives to gun violence,” said Bonavia.
Bonavia said it is possible to prevent some of the gun violence. As an advocacy group, WAVE is pushing for several reforms.
“Some of the things that are needed are things like background checks on all gun sales. Something that is supported by the vast majority of Wisconsinites, whether they are gun owners or not. We know that we can use an extreme risk law to help families who recognize that their loved one is in crisis to help them intervene before a tragedy occurs,” said Bonavia.
Bonavia said many issues can be addressed that would successfully prevent violence.
“We know that we need more funding for important programs like community violence interruption programs that individuals that are out on the street. They know what kind of troubles are bubbling and they are there to help defuse those situations,” said Bonavia.
It’s a long process, but Bonavia said fixing systemic issues will go a long way toward ending gun violence.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that police identified the 19-year-old victim as a man, but that victim was a woman. The error has been corrected. (March 22, 2023)