MADISON (WKOW) — Madison’s Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is calling for a closer look at security after shots rang out right after the Shake the Lake fireworks show ended Saturday night.
Officials say one person was shot with non-life threatening injuries and they believed the people involved knew each other.
One police officer was also injured after he fell down.
While police recovered a gun on scene, no one is in custody yet. They’re asking anyone with information to come forward.
Even with thousands of people running for safety, witnesses say it wasn’t a free-for-fall.
“We were just discussing how gorgeous the grand finale was, it was probably the best one we’d seen,” Mary Briggs-Pomo, who watched the show with her kids, said.
Just as Briggs-Pomo was heading back to her car with her three kids in tow, everything changed.
“Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang,” she recounted. “Literally everyone just froze and then you see this horde of people, just this mad dash.”
As thousands ran from the sounds of gunfire, Madison police officers rushed to control the scene and get people safe.
Many people had to stay down and take cover, including Briggs-Pomo.
With one of her kids in a wheelchair, that’s all she could do.
“Other people were helping me, we were collectively taking cover, shielding all the small children around us,” she said.
Briggs-Pomo said the shock of the situation caused her daughter to have a panic attack, making it hard for her to breath.
“Some people have reached out and said [they would help] if she does need counseling,” she said.”Cause she definitely was hit the hardest with it, it really unfortunately scared her quite a bit.”
She and other witnesses said that even with all the fear and uncertainty, the best parts of Madison shone out.
“In the face of a tragedy, there’s always something good and the people who were there [Saturday] night really helped each other,” Briggs-Pomo said.
Madison Police Chief Mike Koval says that shake the lake was “heavily vetted” and more than 100 officers were on hand for the event.
“Shake the lake” has been a “Family-friendly” venue enjoyed by thousands over several years now and it would be fair to say that the confrontation which took place last night is an anomaly, an outlier, and is not the defining narrative for this annual event.”
Briggs-Pomo said that she hopes to continue going to Shake the Lake in the future.
She also says her family will plan better for an emergency like this one.