Organizers of Milwaukee Juneteenth concert speak out after deadly shootings in Washington Park

NOW: Organizers of Milwaukee Juneteenth concert speak out after deadly shootings in Washington Park

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Organizers of a Juneteenth event spoke out Thursday after a night that ended in tragedy.

A teenager was killed in a shooting after the event was initially cut short from fighting.

According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, the shooting happened around 9 p.m. at Washington Park.

The victim was 17 years old, and the 13th minor killed by gunfire this year - compared to 11 this time last year.

The Juneteenth event was supposed to promote peace.

"A number of people were denied entry and escorted out because we identified them as problematic," said Vaun Mayes, an organizer from This 4 The City Juneteenth festival.

Mayes said his team did everything they could to deter violence.

Just after 8 p.m., they cut the event short due to fights among teens.

"It was clear to us that the coordination was at a level that we would not be able to ensure safety for the rest of the event," Mayes explained.

Organizers said they had a plan that included private security and better fencing but didn't get enough funding.

"This event should have been supported from the jump to where we didn't have to cut corners or readjust and not be able to implement our full plan," Mayes said.

The This 4 The City team also wants to be clear that deadly shooting happened after their event ended, and in another part of the park.

"It was noted that this was the result of an ongoing social media online beef or issue between people and groups. This was not a direct result of anybody getting into it at our event," Mayes said.

Washington Park is in Milwaukee County Supervisor Sky Capriolo's district.

"We really should be adamant about not tying the violence to the celebration," she said Thursday.

Capriolo said the county board needs to work to find any gaps that affected safety Wednesday night.

"These Juneteenth celebrations, any celebrations in our communities are about bringing people together, so we don't want to say, 'don't do that anymore,'" she said. "We want people to come together, we just want them to come together in a safe way."

The name of the victim has not been released yet.

Organizers said they plan to hold this Juneteenth concert again next year, and hope they have enough support to do it safely.

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