Joyous scenes erupted in downtown Milwaukee on Wednesday after the Bucks captured their first NBA title in 50 years, but those scenes were marred after gunshots were fired during the championship celebration.
Tens of thousands gathered outside the Fiserv Forum to watch the Bucks take on the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals. Milwaukee’s victory gave fans plenty to celebrate. It also resulted in a bit of chaos.
The Milwaukee Bucks’ ‘Deer District’ was packed for Game 6
The Bucks and Suns played in front of a full house Tuesday night. Yet that crowd was tame relative to the gathering in the “Deer District” outside Fiserv.
Brendan Cullerton of WDJT reported fans were being turned away before halftime as the Deer District reached capacity. Cullerton also spoke to several fans who expressed unmitigated excitement at the scenes unfolding in Milwaukee.
“Couldn’t miss this opportunity,” fan Joanna Bautch told Cullerton. “I don’t like crowds, but I was not gonna miss this opportunity to show up for the Milwaukee Bucks. We are Milwaukee homegrown, we had to show up.”
Another fan said he was a Deer District regular and suggested the scenes on Tuesday night were something else entirely.
“This is phenomenal,” Brye Hardel told Cullerton. “This is my seventh game in a row being here, and holy kamoley, this is ridiculous.”
The Deer District has become a legitimate staple of Bucks home games throughout the playoffs. It is also fairly symbolic of the home-court advantage the team has enjoyed at Fiserv.
Milwaukee lost just one game at home during the 2021 NBA playoffs. The Bucks won all three games at Fiserv during the NBA Finals, capturing the Larry O’Brien Trophy in front of their jubilant fans.
The celebrations inside and outside the arena were raucous. However, there was soon cause for concern regarding those fans celebrating in the streets.
Shots fired close to Fiserv Forum during championship celebration
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported “more than a dozen” gunshots were fired in downtown Milwaukee at around 12:45 a.m. local time. Shots rang out in the midst of the championship celebration.
It appears local authorities had a decent handle on the situation. The Journal Sentinel reported three people were spotted being handcuffed about 15 minutes after the shots were fired.
Police later revealed three people were injured in the incident, though none of the injures were deemed life-threatening. Local authorities are unsure of the “circumstances” for the shooting but told the Journal Sentinel an investigation is underway.
The police have given no other information at this time.
The incident comes on the heels of a scary situation in Washington, D.C.
This is the second shooting outside an American sports arena in the past four days.
Saturday’s baseball game between the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres was postponed because of a shooting outside Nationals Park. At least three people were injured in the incident.
The Nats made an announcement during the game after the shots were heard throughout the ballpark. Padres players were seen ushering fans into their own dugout.
That’s two horrifying scenes in less than a week.