3 More Deaths Raise Gun Homicide Tally For 2014 To 44

Amid Violence In Milwaukee, Social Development Commission Tries To Spread Message Of Nonviolence

There were three gun homicides over the past week in Wisconsin. Photo: Keary O. (CC-BY-NC-ND).

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

Three shooting deaths over the last seven days have pushed this year’s statewide toll of gun homicides to 44.

The three people shot to death include:

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  • Joseph Walker, a 47-year-old black man, who was killed last Saturday morning in a Racine tavern.
  • Moses Ziebart, a 34-year-old white man, who was shot in Milwaukee on Monday.
  • An 18 year-old Milwaukee woman who was found gunned down on Friday morning.

Earlier this week, Milwaukee’s Social Development Commission became the latest organization to travel to schools in an attempt to head off gun violence. Elizabeth Vogt co-coordinates an effort known as “A Single Bullet,” which has financial support from the federally funded Safe and Sound program. Vogt said there are patterns to the shootings.

“A lot of the elements in these shooting events are drugs, gangs, anger, impatience – and actually more and more the kids are referring to drama,” said Vogt. “Kids are sad, and they aren’t taking the time to gain perspective on what the consequences might be.”

Another coordinator, Rebecca Ross, said “A Single Bullet” focuses on teens speaking to teens, trying to offer positive messages about remaining nonviolent. Ross said the kids face challenges like poverty, but she said some just want peace.

“They want to take a stand and do something about it,” said Ross. “Hopefully they’re inspiring other youth to do the same. I think it’s easier to get their messages out, especially with youth and their social media.”

On the other hand, Ross says various tweets, and texts can be blown out of proportion and lead to altercations. A discussion about A Single Bullet will be held tomorrow at the Social Development Commission office.