Fatal Shootings This Week Raise Gun Homicide Tally To 27

4 Of 5 Deaths Involved Young Black, Latino Men

WPR's tally of gun-related homicides in the state is up to 27. Photo: England (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a Wisconsin Public Radio year-long series tracking all gun-related homicides in Wisconsin.

WPR’s count of gun-related homicides in Wisconsin now stands at 27 after five fatal shootings in the past week.

Four of the five gun deaths involved black or Latino men ranging in age from 19 to 32. Police say Gilbert Hernandez and Devon Harris were shot to death in Milwaukee. Steven Sims was killed in Green Bay and Anthony Edwards died in Kenosha.

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Police say the fifth murder of the past week took place in Oak Creek. Prosecutors allege that 75-year-old June Lang was shot by her husband, after the couple had been arguing in recent weeks amid health problems.

Some leaders of a civil rights group say it’s time to crack down on guns and ramp up job creation. Lillie Wilson, president of the NAACP Wisconsin State Conference, says stricter gun laws are needed.

“Anyone is a potential criminal with a gun,” said Wilson. You could be the best person in the world, but if you have a gun, and someone says one thing that upsets you or something happens, you change. You become a different person. So actually I stand for no guns at all, except if you’re hunting.

NAACP state conference vice president Wendell Harris works with a group of paroled felons, including people who have committed armed robberies, to help them find jobs. Harris says there’s a reason they’re not committing crimes anymore.

“Well the program that I work with affords them a $7.25 hour job,” said Harris. What do we need to do to reduce gun violence? Well, it’s not rocket science.”