Wauwatosa Mayor Denis McBride confirmed in a statement that a shooting had taken place. McBride said that none of the injuries sustained were life-threatening. McBride described the suspect in the shooting as being “at-large.”
Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber later told the media that the shooter is described as a white male in his twenties or thirties. Webter said that shots were fired around 2:50 p.m. at the northwest entrance to the Macy’s location in the mall. The victims are seven adults and one teenager. Weber said that the shooter was not at the scene when officers arrived. You can read Chief Weber’s full statement here.
The FBI’s Milwaukee office issued a statement to say they are supporting local law enforcement in the “shooting incident.”
The Medical Examiner’s Office Said That Their Office Has Not Been Called to the Scene
The Milwaukee Medical Examiner tweeted at 3:45 p.m. local time that their office had not been called to the Mayfair Mall. Spectrum News’ Sachelle Saunders reported on her Twitter page the medical examiner’s tweet “could indicate that there are no deaths in the shooting at Mayfair Mall.”
NBC Milwaukee’s Stephanie Haines tweeted that she saw three ambulances leave the mall.
Fox Milwaukee’s Hannah Jewell reported that shoppers told members of the local media that they heard multiple shots fired inside of the mall. Raw video from the scene showed the massive police response at the mall.
The Shooting Took Place on the Same Day that Kyle Rittenhouse Was Released on Bail & the Day Before a Donald Trump Rally Was to Be Held in the Area
The shooting took place the day before a planned pro-Donald Trump rally was scheduled at the mall, reports CBS Milwaukee. Prior to the shooting, a statement was issued on the mall’s Facebook page stating that any planned rallies were not associated with the mall. The press release added that the mall is private property and political rallies are banned.
The Wauwatosa Police Department was featured in national news reports in the days before the shooting. Joseph Mensah, an officer in the department, agreed to resign after killing three people during a five-year spell with the department. The most recent of those was the shooting death of Black teenager Alvin Cole, 17, in the Mayfair Mall parking lot in February 2020. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in October 2020 that the shooting was related to a drug deal in the mall’s parking lot. Mensah was not charged with a crime in relation to the shooting of Cole.
Mensah was suspended in July 2020. His resignation will take effect on November 30, according to a statement on the department’s Facebook page.
On November 20, Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old Illinois man who is accused of murdering two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on August 25, was released from police custody on a $2 million bail, reports NBC Milwaukee. Kenosha is located 45 miles south of Milwaukee.