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The NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks canceled a scouting party scheduled for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in response to three shootings Friday night that injured more than a dozen near Milwaukee Stadium. team.
“The shooting that occurred in downtown Milwaukee last night was horrific and we condemn this devastating violence,” the team said in a statement Saturday. “We are grateful to local law enforcement for their valiant efforts to try to contain what was a dangerous and fluid situation. Although these incidents occurred outside of Deer District property, it clearly resonated with fans exiting the arena and leaving the square. Safety, health and well-being are always our top priorities for our customers and employees and we appreciate the hard work of our security team to ensure safety of our fans.”
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The statement continued: “In order to allow law enforcement to dedicate the resources necessary to continue the investigation of the events of last night, we have decided to cancel the watch party scheduled for tomorrow at the square. Businesses in the Deer District will remain open as usual. We continue to work with the Milwaukee Police Department and other public safety partners to provide a safe and welcoming environment for our fans. We plan to have more details soon.
At least 21 people were injured in three separate shootings near the entertainment district where thousands of people gathered for an NBA playoff game on Friday night.
In one of the shootings, 17 people were injured when two groups started shooting at each other. Three people were injured in another shooting and one in the third. All of the shots occurred blocks from the arena where the Milwaukee Bucks lost to the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals. All victims are expected to survive and ten people have been taken into custody.
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Three people, including a 16-year-old girl, were injured in another shootout at 9:10 p.m., about five minutes before the match was due to end. A man has been taken into custody.
Another shooting around 10:30 p.m. injured one person. No arrests were made in this shooting.
The canceled watch party would likely have drawn more than 10,000 people. The Bucks said 11,000 people attended a Game 6 watch party, even as more than 19,000 others were inside the arena.
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Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said the city has imposed a downtown curfew, forcing anyone 20 or younger off the streets by 11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday – when the Bucks play in Boston in the deciding Game 7.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.