Madison police frustrated by lack of cooperation with witnesses - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Madison police frustrated by lack of cooperation with witnesses and victims in latest shooting

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UPDATE (WKOW)--  Madison police say no one is cooperating with an investigation into a shooting early Sunday morning, not even the victims.

Police say more than a dozen gunshots were fired around 3:00 a.m. Sunday in the 500 block of Park Street. Two 26-year-old men were hit by the bullets. One of the men was grazed and is expected to be alright.

The other man was left with life threatening injuries, but police say he is now in stable condition after undergoing surgery at a local hospital.

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, police chief Mike Koval said, "it's nothing short of a miracle" that more people weren't caught in the crossfire because both the Hacienda Restaurant at 515 S. Park Street and its parking lot were full.  

"There were at least four cars in the parking lot that were damaged," Koval explains.

During the news conference Koval voiced his frustration with the fact that no one at the scene is cooperating with police.

"There were at least a dozen people in the parking lot when officers arrived. They all scattered," Koval says. "When MPD arrives at these things, whether they are victims, witnesses, contacts, family members, nobody seems to know anything about anything."

While Madison police focus on the immediate aftermath of these violent outbursts, city alders are looking at the big picture, as they discuss long-term solutions to the ongoing issue of gun violence in the community.

"This incident is yet another reminder unfortunately that it is a citywide issue that we need to tackle as a whole city," Madison Alder Sara Eskrich says.

An issue that extends far beyond the boundaries of district 13, the scene of Sunday morning's shooting and the district Alder Eskrich represents.

"We don't know a lot about the situation around this particular incident, but we do know we're struggling with violence in Madison right now and we need a community wide solution to that," says Eskrich.

She is among a group of alders who support the six ideas recently proposed by Madison alders Matt Phair and Maurice Cheeks that aim to address this issue of gun violence. Last Tuesday they officially announced these six ideas, which include more mentoring opportunities for troubled teens, more job opportunities for youth and more out of school programming to keep kids off the street.

Eskrich supports every one of these ideas, and as a member of the board of estimates, she'll be pushing for the funding that's needed to turn these ideas into actions.

"They are exactly the sort of response that we would hope for, which is that more proactive looking at the root causes of why people are turning to violence in our community," Eskrich says.

After the shooting Sunday morning, Eskrich says she worked with the three largest neighborhood associations in her district to send out a mass email that warns residents about what happened. She says, however, that based on her conversations with constituents, they are more concerned about the gun violence issue overall than seeing an act of gun violence in their neighborhood.


UPDATE:  Madison Police Chief Mike Koval is comparing the city's latest shooting, which happened overnight near a mid-town restaurant, to the gunfight at the OK Corral.   

At a news conference Sunday afternoon, the chief said, "it's nothing short of a miracle" that more people weren't caught in the crossfire because both the Hacienda Restaurant at 515 S. Park Street and its parking lot were full.  

The police call of "shots fired in the parking lot" was reported around 3:00 a.m. when the restaurant's bar was closing.  Koval says officers who arrived on the scene say it was chaotic, with many people running in different directions. 

Two people were hit.  A 26-year-old man who was grazed by a bullet was treated and released from the hospital. But another 26-year-old man was seriously injured when a bullet hit his femoral artery. He's still recovering.  Koval says both victims were together with friends when they were shot. 

The police leader says the incident of what he called reckless behavior came "perilously close to affecting someone who's a totally innocent third-party bystander."   The shooting happened on a busy thoroughfare and also spilled over into a nearby family neighborhood. Four cars were also hit by gunfire. 

Details of the police forensic review, so far, have been released with more than a dozen spent bullet casings being recovered from the scene.

Chief Koval called the latest spate of shootings "the most turbulent I can recall as a police officer,"  adding that "I don't know how we can continue to live like this." 

He says it's too early in the investigation to say whether last night's shooting is related to other recent ones in Madison. 

A number of theories are coming to the surface as police continue to investigate the latest incident.  "We do believe this is, at a minimum, yet another episode of our chronic gun violence here in Madison. It's becoming disturbingly apparent that there seems to be no sense of abatement."

He also lamented the lack of cooperation from people who likely knew the shooters; "...when you don't even have victims that are willing to help you cooperate in trying to find the people who shot you." 


MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison Police say they began investigating a shooting early Sunday morning when they were notified about shots fired and people running away from the S Park St. area.

According to a news release, the incident happened near the 500-block of S Park, between Drake and Emerald Streets.  Shortly after 3:00 a.m., police found a 26-year-old man with gunshot wounds in the parking lot of the La Hacienda restaurant.  He was treated at the hospital and released.

Police say another 26-year-old man, who was also shot, got himself to the hospital.  He was seriously injured. 

After further investigation PIO Joel DeSpain tells 27 News, there looks to be two shooting scenes.  He says evidence shows shots were fired on Drake Street and in the parking lot of La Hacienda. 

Police are still early in the investigation process.  DeSpain says it's still to soon to tell if this incident is related to other recent gun violence in the area. 

Anyone with more information about what happened early Sunday morning is asked to call Madison Area CrimeStoppers at 608-266-6014. 


Madison (WKOW) -- Madison Police officers are currently investigating a shooting on S. Park Street. 

Madison Police say it occurred near La Hacienda, which is on S. Park Street between Drake Street and Emerald Street. Officials added that two were injured and both were transported to the hospital.

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