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‘Put the guns down’ Madison leaders call for an end to gun violence

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sheri carter

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison leaders stood together expressing sadness and frustration over what they call a senseless act of gun violence that led to an 11-year-old girl Tuesday being shot in the head.

City Council President Sheri Carter called community leaders together a day after a shooting injured 11-year-old Anisa, all expressing the same message, "enough is enough."

Carter speaking directly to those involved in the shooting warned if they don't change their actions, their futures will wind up behind bars or dead.

Hours after the press conference family members of Anisa announced she will be taken off life support Thursday.

The shooting which happened while she was riding in a car comes as the Madison Police Department is dealing with an uptick in gun violence.

Acting Madison Police Chief Vic Wahl on Tuesday said the driver of the car was the intended target. The driver has a family connection to one of the girl's parents, Wahl said, and was watching her at the time.

Carter was joined by other council members, the Urban League of Greater Madison, Inspire Barber and Beauty Salon, Focused Interruption Coalition, Black Umbrella, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and JustDane among others.

Most called on the local officials to provide more opportunities for youth such as internships and jobs to help guide young people towards a future.

Anthony Cooper, CEO of Focused Interruption Coalition, also called for solutions specifically funding gun violence prevention programs fully, not just temporarily.

"We need help whether it's the city or county and if you don't help us move, then get the hell out of the way because this stuff has to change," said Cooper.

This latest incident comes as shootings across the city continue to increase. So far this year, Madison Police responded to 143 incidents of gun violence. In June 29 shots fired, the highest monthly total since MPD starting gathering this data, until July when there were 44.

As calls continue to defund the police, Carter said it's not something that can be accomplished right away.

"I don't know if defunding or restructuring the police is something we can achieve in one year," said Carter.

Emilee Fannon

Capital Bureau Chief

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