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'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side I6KIB
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    'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side

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    The Last Outlaw
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    PostThe Last Outlaw on Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:50 am

    'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side I5Bn3

    From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Sophie Carson, Ashley Luthern and Gina Barton of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote:Five people were killed in a home on the city's north side late Monday morning, Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales said.

    Police sources said it is being investigated as an act of family violence.

    The victims were between the ages of 14 and 41, the chief said. The shooting occurred in a home in the 2800 block of North 12th Street.

    Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at the scene that a child survived the incident. Two law enforcement sources also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the shooter spared a young child.

    In a 911 call, a man told dispatchers that "his family was dead," Morales said.

    "Understand, this is a very tragic event," the chief said at a news briefing near the scene of the shooting.

    Asked if the suspect and victims were all related, Morales said: "They are all known to each other, and that’s what we’re investigating, the relationship between all of them.”

    Morales did not name the suspected shooter, but three law enforcement sources told the Journal Sentinel he is Christopher P. Stokes, 43.

    As of Monday, he was being supervised by the Department of Corrections after being released from prison in 2015, according to online records.

    Stokes has a history of domestic violence convictions involving at least two different women dating back to 2002 and was arrested for felony child abuse as far back as 1997, according to online court records and a criminal history report from the state Department of Justice. No charges were filed in the child abuse case.

    Due to a domestic violence conviction, he was prohibited from possessing guns.

    'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side BB13hhhT

    'Why did it happen? Why did he do that?'


    The scene around the house grew chaotic as a large crowd gathered.

    Relatives wailed in distress as others held them. Arguments broke out as emotions ran high. Paramedics tended to an overwhelmed family member.

    The crowd of a few hundred was “volatile,” a Milwaukee police officer said, adding that officers had to break up multiple fights.

    Many who gathered did not know those who died but came to see the large police presence and the scene playing out on the lawn of a corner house. Traffic slowed to a crawl as more people arrived at the scene. Police closed North 12th from West Hadley to West Locust streets for the investigation.

    The crowd dissipated slightly as rain began around 1 p.m. Members of the 414LIFE team of the Office of Violence Prevention gave out masks to those who remained in an effort to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the crowd.

    Reggie Moore, director of the Office of Violence Prevention who was at the scene, said he believed two or three of the victims were teenagers.

    “It’s important that we support each other as a community,” Moore said. “This is a trying time for a number of reasons.”

    Three Salvation Army chaplains also arrived at the scene to offer comfort.

    Darnelle Bowles
    , a 5th District chaplain, prayed with two mourning family members.

    “This is the time to really love one another,” Bowles told the relatives. “Trust and believe you’re going to be all right.”

    Bowles told a Journal Sentinel reporter that she was focused on offering support, since there were so few immediate answers.

    “Right now all they need is encouragement,” she said. “Nobody understands this situation — why did it happen, why did he do that — they have all of those questions.

    “But right now we want everybody’s mental capacity to be on point, to help them get through this.”

    'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side BB13hvxj

    Shooting underscores gun violence epidemic


    The shooting is evidence that violence doesn’t stop in a pandemic, Moore said, emphasizing the stress and pressure put on families isolated in homes with abusers.

    Local organizations have seen an uptick in the number of people seeking domestic violence services in recent weeks, Moore said. He encouraged people not to delay reaching out for help or shelter because of health fears.

    “What today shows is that these consequences can be as deadly, if not more, than contracting COVID,” he said. “We want people to prioritize their immediate safety.”

    It’s also important to characterize the shooting as a mass shooting, Moore said, adding that gun violence is “an epidemic in this country and this city."

    Even before the pandemic took hold, the city already was in a "state of emergency" with a rise in homicides related to domestic and family violence, said Carmen Pitre, president and chief executive of Sojourner Family Peace Center.

    “If you’re afraid for your life, we are here and we can help you build that bridge. Call for help," she said. "If you’re hurting someone, call for help.”

    Having firearms in the home increases the likelihood of lethal violence, she said, and in this case, the suspected shooter had a past history of domestic violence and was not legally able to have a gun.

    “What I know about history is that history can be the best predictor of future violence, and so we have to take that seriously," she said. "What we’ve done as a community is try to present opportunities for people to change their behavior.”

    “We need to be relentless on the doors we’ve opened for people. We need to get there sooner," she added. “It’s just a horrible, horrific, tragic day and circumstance."

    Suspect accused of violence in the past


    Stokes, the suspected gunman, repeatedly came to the attention of authorities for allegations of violence, according to online court and state records.

    Those records show:

    Stokes was first ordered to complete a batterer intervention course in 2002, after being convicted of misdemeanor battery. After being sentenced to probation, he absconded, was caught and sentenced to 45 days in the House of Correction.

    In 2007, he was convicted of multiple felonies, including substantial battery, witness intimidation and bail jumping. It is unclear whether the victim was the same woman from the earlier case. She was among three people named as victims in the intimidation case. Stokes was again ordered to attend a batterer intervention class and sentenced to prison.

    In 2012, a felony substantial battery charge involving a different woman was reduced to a misdemeanor as part of a plea agreement. Stokes was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

    His most recent conviction, for misdemeanor disorderly conduct, came in 2017 after an incident in 2016. No victim’s name is referenced in online court records. He was sentenced to 30 days in the House of Correction with work release.


    Resources


    The Sojourner Family Peace Center in Milwaukee operates a 24-hour confidential hotline at (414) 933-2722.

    The Milwaukee Women's Center also offers a hotline at (414) 671-6140.

    The Asha Project, which serves African American women in Milwaukee, provides a crisis line from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (414) 252-0075.

    The National Domestic Violence Hotline can be reached at (800) 799-7233. For a list of domestic violence resources in the Milwaukee area, click here.

    Another day in America, another senseless shooting. I'm sounding like a broken record here, but can we get some common sense gun laws on the books, PLEASE?!?

    Just Saying.
    'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side I6goy

    _________________
    'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side FBCTR'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side IEoIn
    'Nobody Understands This Situation': Five Dead in Shooting at a Home on Milwaukee's North Side Nexads420

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