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Madison police describe chaotic scene at park shooting

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Acting Police Chief Vic Wahl
Vic Wahl on gun violence

Multiple people were hurt in a shooting in Madison's Garner Park overnight. Interim Police Chief Vic Wahl is speaking about the shooting and recent rise in gun violence.

Posted by WKOW 27 on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

MADISON (WKOW) -- Acting Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl on Wednesday said the gunfire last night at a celebration of life in a Madison park was not random.

Three people were injured by gunfire during the gathering at Garner Park in memory of recent homicide victim Maurice Bowman, who was killed in a shooting on Madison's west side last month.

During a Wednesday afternoon news conference from the park where the shooting took place, Wahl said it looked like it was a planned event from the suspects.

A total of 63 spent shell casings were found in the area from multiple different guns.

Multiple weapons were used, including what police believe was an AK-47 style weapon, based on the shell casings found at the scene, a police spokesperson said.

"If someone is intent on engaging in retaliatory action, there's going to be opportunity for it," Wahl said.

Wahl also called on community leaders to speak out on the recent gun violence in the community.

"The gun violence that we're seeing here in Madison is at an unprecedented level," Wahl said. "This level of gun violence is something we should not accept in our community."

Police officers were monitoring the event after receiving a noise complaint, and responded as soon as gunshots were heard around 9 p.m.

As officers rushed in, they could see muzzle flashes, Wahl said.

Police believe the suspects approached the pavilion and began shooting, and some in the crowd returned fire.

Two people have been arrested.

Police said more than 300 people had gathered in the park, including families and children.

Wahl said police weren't aware of the event ahead of time, and that when they arrived he didn't think the best approach would have been to try to enforce Dane County's mask order.

As of Wednesday morning, three gunshot victims sought treatment at local hospitals. An additional two victims received injuries not related to the shooting.

MPD said two arrests have been made. Charges include in possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana and one was arrested for an outstanding warrant.

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