Several people killed at the Graceland cemetery in Racine | State and Area News
DEE HÖLZEL, ALEX RODRIGUEZ, RYAN PATTERSON and ADAM ROGAN The Journal Times
ROOT — Several people were shot Thursday afternoon during a funeral at Graceland Cemetery.
The public is asked to avoid the West Racine area.
In an alert at 3:47 p.m. Thursday, the Racine Police Department said “At 2:26 p.m. multiple shots were fired at Graceland Cemetery. There are casualties but it is not known how many at this time. The scene is still active and under investigation.”
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Ascension All Saints Hospital, which is treating an undisclosed number of shooting victims, is in custody “out of an abundance of caution” following the shooting, an Ascension Wisconsin spokesperson said. The cemetery property adjoins the hospital property.
To the hospital
Members of a group that later gathered at the hospital told reporters the shooting happened at the funeral of Da’Shontay “Day Day” King, who died on Friday, May 20 after fleeing a Racine police officer and being shot. The state’s investigation into the fatal police shooting is ongoing.
A woman outside the hospital emergency room said her daughter had been shot and was being treated inside. “I can’t even go to a funeral,” the woman said, describing the filming moments as “like in a movie.”
Another woman said “You can’t even bury your loved ones.”
These two women outside the hospital declined to share their names, fearing for their own safety.
Many children – King was a father of four – were present at the funeral. The mother of one of the children told the Journal Times that three of the children were at the funeral and were “all fine…just shaken up”.
Several streets in the neighborhood have been blocked off.
Law enforcement officers could be seen inside the cemetery shortly after the shooting, interviewing witnesses and standing by the white coffin bearing King’s body, resting above ground near the hole in which it seems it was supposed to have been placed. K-9s were also searching the area.
Several casings and evidence markers littered Lathrop Avenue, between Haven Avenue and Graceland Boulevard. Evidence markers could also be seen in the cemetery.
Locals said they heard 20 to 30 gunshots. One woman said “it looked like firecrackers”.
The students at Park High School were released 10 minutes later than normal, due to the nearby crime scene, “after law enforcement assured principals that it was safe to do it,” Root Unified spokeswoman Stacy Tapp wrote in an email.
Reports on the Police/Fire Scanner (which no longer includes reports directly from the Racine Police Department, but still has reports from other agencies in the area for first responders) indicate that the Chief of the Department of Root’s fire, Steve Hansen, is called.
Mount Pleasant Police officers and deputies from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene.
Following pressure from Republican lawmakers in the Racine area, Alderman Henry Perez, himself a retired Miami police officer, called on fellow city council members and the mayor to immediately spend federal stimulus funds. to bolster the Racine Police Department rather than wait until voters can eventually approve a $2 million referendum in August.
“Can we wait any longer to fund our police? Perez wrote on Facebook. “Fund now and use ARPA money!!! I’m calling you to the city council!!!”
The city administration says spending the money now probably won’t result in more officers on the streets for at least a year, and there’s no guarantee the city will be able to keep these new officers on staff when the American Rescue Plan Act will expire at the end of 2024. .
Six new SPR officers were sworn in on Wednesday, bringing the department’s total strength of active sworn officers to 171, eighteen less than the planned cap of 189.
From January 1, 2018 to May 20, 2022, more than 80 agents left the department, including 42 retirements. Eleven of those 42 have come in 2022.
And from January 1, 2018 to May 20, 2022, the RPD hired a total of 61 officers.