MADISON, Wis. — A shooting occurred on Tuesday in downtown Madison on the 100 block of State Street.
When the shooting occurred around 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nina Berkani was on her way home from work. Berkani works at Teddywedgers, which is a carry-out restaurant located just outside the Capitol.
“I saw the police sirens and I thought, 'Oh I better get out of the way,' and then I realized, 'Oh, they are right by Teddywedgers,” said Berkani.
Her son is the owner of Teddywedgers; when the shooting occurred he was still at work. She immediately pulled over her car and called to make sure everything was ok.
Her son and everyone else who works at Teddywedgers confirmed they were safe; her son was hiding in the basmenet.
She said the next day many community members were calling to ask the same thing: “Is everyone ok?”
Even though the shooting took place right outside of her son's restaurant, Berkani said she still feels safe because she is part of a community that takes care of each other.
“We all work with each other; we know most people that are down here and on the day to day you come here and feel safe,” said Berkani.
Cindy Grady, the violence prevention supervisor at Public Health Madison and Dane County, said community engagement is one of the best ways to keep the community safe for everyone.
“That’s definitely a way to reduce crime in the neighborhood and it also builds resilience and connection among people in the neighborhood,” said Grady.
The Madison police department was working to get a grant to address State St. violence a few years ago, according to Grady. After getting the grant, Public Health Madison and Dane County was tasked with identifying different crime types. It collected and organized data regarding crime around State St.
They it was tasked with identifying different strategies to reduce crime and violence in the area.
Data showed that those efforts have been successful. The violent crime rate has trended downward over the past four years: Violent crime rates were down 22% from 2018 to 2021.
Violent crimes include homicides, sexual assaults, robberies and aggravated assaults.
While Grady and her team play a crucial role in decreasing crime throughout the city, she said the public has its part to play as well.
”Being out there in your neighborhood, going to local parks, just showing your support for your community, I think that is what really helps prevent crime and violence,” said Grady.
She said it is also important to know what kinds of resources exist in the community so people can utilize them.
Public Health of Madison and Dane County has:
“Even after this incident, we all know each other. We all take care of each other, so on a day-to-day you feel safe,” said Berkani.
She said she believes politicians and police should take a page out of her book and start working together.
”There seems to be a lot of back and forth and it takes everybody to start working together and caring for each other and having that as our goal,” said Berkani.