What started Tuesday as a missing-persons investigation morphed over the course of several hours as tensions about police treatment ran high and rumors spread online.
By nightfall, three people — including two 14-year-olds — had been shot, a house was set on fire, and police had fired tear gas and pepper spray on some members of a scattered crowd of hundreds who’d gathered outside a Milwaukee house where police earlier conducted an investigation into two missing teenage girls.
Both girls, ages 13 and 15, have been located as of Wednesday morning, police said. TV stations reported that the girls had last been seen Sunday evening.
Police are also investigating whether the girls may have been victims of sex trafficking, police spokeswoman Sgt. Sheronda Grant said.
“That’s something that we are looking into,” she said. “So that’s under review. However, I cannot confirm that that is the case.”
The two girls had not been considered critical missing and did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert, Grant said.
The crowd that gathered Tuesday near the police investigation in the 2100 block of North 40th Street was a mix of neighbors observing the situation, people expressing frustration with police and activists who’d marched in Milwaukee’s racial justice protests.
Some wanted to take the investigation into their own hands. Others joined the melee to express their grievances with police violence in general.
Police reported a boy and a girl, both 14, were shot near the scene around 5:45 p.m. and suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.
Then a 24-year-old man was shot near the scene around 7:30 p.m. as someone fired shots at his vehicle, police said. He refused medical treatment and his injuries were not life-threatening.
Seven police officers and one firefighter were injured in the unrest, Morales said.
VIA Milwaukee Journal Sentinel