'A very violent night': 9 people shot within 2 hours Thursday in Milwaukee

NOW: ’A very violent night’: 9 people shot within 2 hours Thursday in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- City leaders say easy access to guns and too people using violence to solve their problems led to a Thursday night filled with gunfire in Milwaukee

Nine people were shot, three of them fatally, in two separate incidents within less than two hours.

"When I think about what we're seeing right now, there's a different level of violence that we have seen the past few decades," said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.

Milwaukee police told CBS 58 that investigating the two shootings at the same time put such a strain on resources that the department had to call in another shift.

The violent night ended with three people dead and six people injured.

"There's a lot of pain in our city. And with pain comes from the levels of generational trauma from the likes of frustration, anger, hurt, desolation, despair," said Jamaal Smith, community violence prevention manager for the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention.

Around 9:30 Thursday evening, four people were shot near 8th and Cherry. Three of them died from their injuries. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office identified them as 36-year-old Quinton McGee, 30-year-old Terrance Taylor and 19-year-old Tanija Turner. A 19-year-old man also shot and was in critical condition.

"(It was) a very violent night," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. "This is what happens when you have this toxic combination of incredibly easy access to guns ... and then you have people who don't know how to solve their problems. And whether it's gang-related or drug-related or revenge-related, it's just abhorrent what we're seeing right now."

An hour and a half before the shooting near 8th and Cherry, officers were investigating a property damage complaint near Wright and 37th when they heard multiple shots and saw an armed suspect.

"It was so many shots just like pop, pop, pop, pop, and I jumped up out of my bed because I was upstairs looking out the window," said Lula Wright, who lives on 37th Street.

Police said a suspect and an officer both fired shots before the suspect got away. Officers found four people who were shot at a home. The victims are an 18-year-old female, a 25-year-old female, a 65-year-old male and a 19-year-old male. They were all taken to the hospital with non-fatal injuries and are stable. A fifth shooting victim, a 20-year-old male, later showed up at the hospital.

"There was an argument between two people at a residence there on that block, which unfortunately led to gunfire," said Inspector Paul Formolo with the Milwaukee Police Department

Police are not confirming the shooting near Wright and 37th as an officer involved shooting, but the Oak Creek Police Department is leading the investigation.

"We just cannot make the determination at this time if the officer struck anyone," Formolo said.

The officer who fired shots is 30 years old and has more than four years of experience. He was placed on administrative duty, which is department policy.

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