MILWAUKEE – At least one person fired a gun into a crowd in a street early Friday, killing four people and sending panicked revelers running for cover, police said.
Two women, ages 23 and 27, and two men, ages 24 and 28, were killed at about 2:30 a.m. on the city's north side, police spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said.
Two people were injured, including Sylvia Ware, who was returning home from celebrating her 35th birthday at a nightclub.
She pulled up in front of her house and saw 10 to 20 people outside. She heard gunshots and ducked in her car. The window shattered and she felt something hit her upper back.
"I'm like, 'Oh my God. My back is burning; I'm hit! I'm hit!"' she said. "Then I crawled out the car and I was like, 'Someone please help me, I'm hit!' I got as far as the middle of the street and then I fainted. The next thing you know I woke up in the ambulance."
As she was crawling, she saw two friends — a man and woman — lying lifeless in the street.
"I just can't believe it," she said. "I've never been in any type of situation like this before. I never seen no one die in front of me before. I just feel totally different today, like, 'Wow."'
More than 100 people were on the street when shots were fired, some possibly from a party, Schwartz said.
"We know a number of people were in the street when all of a sudden someone came out and started shooting," Schwartz said. "We are not clear how many shooters there were, if there was somebody in the crowd who shot back. Those things are still under investigation."
No suspects are in custody. Police were having difficulty getting cooperation from witnesses, Schwartz said.
"In a case like this you have a neighborhood where people are living in fear, people are trapped in this neighborhood and are afraid to give information to police openly," she said.
Kesha Peeler, 27, said her sister, Theresa Raddle, was killed. She knew the others killed, as well.
"This is crazy," she said. "Why all this violence, why?" she said.
She and other family members stopped by the scene Friday morning. They placed balloons and teddy bears where their friends were shot. They hugged one another and sobbed as residents on porches watched in silence.
"Why? Why they take her?" Peeler yelled through sobs that could be heard down the street.
Peeler described her sister as someone who loved to laugh and crack jokes.
"I guess she was just at the wrong place at the wrong time," she said.
A 31-year-old man also was hospitalized with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Ware, who has released from the hospital later in the day, said she didn't think she was targeted, only in the crossfire.
"I'm just blessed to be alive; I know this can heal," she said.
She added: "But my heart goes out to the families of the other ones who didn't make it."