NBA team cancels Game 7 playoff watch party after 21 injured in several shootings near arena

The National Basketball Association’s reigning champion Milwaukee Bucks have canceled a watch party for the team’s vital seventh game against the Boston Celtics following an explosion of violence outside of their arena on Friday night.

As disappointed fans filed out of Fiserv Forum after watching their beloved home team put up a clunker of a 108-95 loss that punched their ticket to Beantown for Sunday’s series deciding contest, three shootings broke out, sending people scrambling for safety as at least 21 were injured in the ensuing chaos in the city’s entertainment district.

The team announced that the game 7 watch party has been called off, citing Friday’s shootings and concern for the safety of fans.

“The shootings that happened in downtown Milwaukee last night were horrific and we condemn this devastating violence,” according to a Saturday statement from the team. “We are grateful to local law enforcement for its valiant efforts to try to contain what was a dangerous and fluid situation. While these incidents took place outside of Deer District property, it clearly resonated with fans coming out of the arena and leaving the plaza. Security, health and welfare are always our top priorities for our guests and employees and we appreciate the hard work of our security team to keep our fans safe.”

“In order to allow law enforcement to devote needed resources to the continued investigation of last night’s events, we have decided to cancel tomorrow’s planned watch party on the plaza,” the statement read. “Deer District businesses 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 further details soon.”

“In one of the shootings Friday night, 17 people were hurt when two groups started firing at each other. Three people were hurt in another shooting, and one in the third,” according to a report by the Associated Press.

Scenes of Friday night’s carnage were posted on Twitter.

“Bullets were being sprayed everywhere,” said Milwaukee School of Engineering Michael Tulsky who was inside his apartment according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“People parted like the Red Sea,” Tulsky said. “Everyone was out of here as fast as they possibly could.”

Witness Timothy Seymour, who was inside Trinity Three Irish Pubs when the shootings went down said that he immediately didn’t know what was going on.

“As a city, we should do better,” the lifelong Milwaukee resident told the outlet. “When the city has eyes on it, like it does with the Bucks in the playoffs and everything, it’s kind of sad more so than anything.”

(Video: YouTube/LiveNow from FOX)

“What makes people think they can just have a shootout on a public street or in an entertainment district, whether police are there or not?” Assistant Police Chief Nicole Waldner asked at a Saturday news conference,” according to AP.

Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson vowed that the shooters would be held accountable,” AP reported. “We cannot have that in this city, nor anywhere else in this state, nor anywhere else in this country,” he said.

It was just the latest outbreak of mayhem after an NBA game, most notably last year in Milwaukee after the NBA team clinched its first title in 50 years when two shootings left three people wounded during the celebration of the Bucks’ championship.

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