Teen shot and killed after Juneteenth concert that ended early because of fights

NOW: Teen shot and killed after Juneteenth concert that ended early because of fights

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A 17-year-old boy was fatally shot, and a 15-year-old boy was wounded following a Juneteenth concert at Washington Park Wednesday night, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

The deceased victim has been identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner as Sherrone Thornton, Jr. of Milwaukee.

Chief Deputy Daniel Hughes told reporters the shooting came after the concert had already been cut short by organizers because fights kept breaking out between "large groups of unsupervised youth."

Hughes said fights kept happened as the crowd left the area around the bandshell. Shortly before 9 p.m., Hughes said a group of about 50 youth had gathered near the playground area in the northeast corner of the park.

At that point, Hughes said a gunman, later identified as a 17-year-old boy from Milwaukee, fired into the crowd from near the intersection where Lloyd Street, Lisbon Avenue and Sherman Boulevard meet. The shooter was armed with either a fully automatic gun or one that had been modified to fire automatically.

The 17-year-old victim was hit multiple times and later died at a hospital. A second victim, a 15-year-old boy, later walked into a hospital with injuries investigators described as non-life-threatening.

Hughes said one of the first officers at the scene of the shooting was a plain-clothes detective, who fired back at the suspect. Hughes said the suspect ran away from the park, but police later caught him at gunpoint. The suspected gunman was not injured.

When reporters first got to the scene about 30 minutes after the gunfire, there were at least 16 police vehicles outside the northeast corner of the park. Some officers wore riot gear helmets as they set a perimeter. 

The incident happened at an event called "Juneteenth Peace Day MKE." The organizers, This 4 The City, had arranged a concert featuring some of Milwaukee's most popular rappers, including J.P. and 414BigFrank, who are slated to perform as opening acts for Lil Uzi Vert at Summerfest during the main American Family Ampitheater show on July 6.

"I would say that it's unfortunate, but unfortunate isn't the right word. It's infuriating," Hughes said. "We have an event that's supposed to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday, and it ultimately ends in another young man being killed."

Hughes added the sheriff's office had previously arrested the suspected shooter one month ago, on May 20. Hughes said the arrest was on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm, but the suspect later posted a $750 cash bail.

"We don't control the court system. We only make the arrests on the street," Hughes said. "It is unfortunate that that same person was out on a bail who is now alleged to have killed someone tonight."

Hughes declined to say whether the various fights, and eventual shooting, were connected to other recent shootings involving Milwaukee teens, saying those questions still "could tie into the investigation."

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