A firearm was discharged during a fight between two men outside The Frequency, a music venue located off the Capitol Square, early on Monday morning.
According to a Madison Police Department incident report, no one was injured by the gunshot, and the fight had moved outside by the time one of the men involved in the fight used the firearm. The statement said the two men, who appeared to be in their 20s, left the scene by the time MPD arrived on the scene.
MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said although no official statistics have been released on last year’s gun crimes, the use of firearms remains an issue in the city.
“We’ve had concerns about the numbers of weapons on the streets of Madison,” DeSpain said. “Weapons in the city have been an ongoing concern.”
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said after the two suspects got into a fight, one pulled out a gun and they were both pushed outside. The suspect without a firearm stood beside the door and when the other suspect came out carrying a firearm, the other man grabbed the firearm, he said.
They both fell to the ground struggling, which was when a round was fired, Verveer said. The firearm was taken away from the suspect by the other suspect, he said.
The suspect who originally had the firearm then ran away toward the Capitol, he said. The other suspect, who by then had the gun, started running after him but then returned to the area near the bar. He was then lost in the crowd, Verveer added.
The discharged shot hit a tree, although there were large amounts of pedestirans outside, Verveer said.
“This incident is of grave concern to me because it appears that it is only by shear dumb luck that nobody was seriously injured,” Verveer said.
Verveer said the suspect with the gun is a black male between 20 and 25 years old, and between 6’ 1” and 6’ 2” tall with short, curly hair.
Verveer said he was surprised the incident had occurred at The Frequency, because the establishment has a very good reputation and added it was premature to blame the management for the events that transpired.
The Frequency is a venue that has live music seven nights a week for an 18 and over crowd. There was a hip-hop performance the night of the gunshots.
Verveer said The Frequency’s promoter, Mark Evans, has also previously been invited to appear before the City of Madison’s Alcohol License Review Committee on multipe occasions to present his advice on the best practices for live music venues.
“I have always been very pleased that The Frequency has opened their doors to University of Wisconsin students and others under the age of 21 so they can access live music,” Verveer said.
The last incident of any shots being fired downtown occurred on the 600 block of University Avenue outside of Segredo Madison on the weekend of May 19.