The Madison Police Department is investigating four separate shooting incidents which occurred over the weekend, two of which may be related.
Shootings occurred at a Toppers on Mineral Point Road, State Street Brats, the 3700 Block of East Karstens and the 900 block of Rockefeller Lane.
According to incident reports, at Toppers, a 28-year-old Madison man suffered at least one gunshot wound and was transported to a local hospital. Later that night at Brats, a 25-year-old woman suffered non-life threatening gun shot wound and was also transported to a local hospital. No injuries were reported in either the East Karstens or Rockefeller Lane incidents.
A suspect was identified in the Rockefeller Lane shooting as a short, black male with a muscular build. No suspects have been identified in the other cases and no arrests have been made.
MPD’s Violent Crime Unit continues to investigate the shootings and it’s unclear if these events are outliers or indicative of a growing trend in gun violence.
Detectives believe the Toppers and Brats shootings may be linked, MPD spokesperson Joel DeSpain said.
The person shot at Toppers was the intended target, but the victim at Brats was not.
DeSpain said police have seen a higher incidence of high profile gun violence in the city over the past several months. But he said this has not been a trend in years past, noting that general incidents of gun violence have not necessarily gone up.
Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said he believes police have responded appropriately to the shootings and are treating the incidents with the attention they deserve.
“It’s very unusual for there to be incidences like this occurring downtown,” Verveer said.
DeSpain said the best way to prevent future instances of gun violence is to cultivate a positive community that does not resort to violence.
Verveer also noted the Downtown Safety Initiative, which has been in place since 2007 and provides additional police presence on State Street during warm weather weekends.
DeSpain said aside from outreach, there is little MPD can do to directly prevent gun violence.
Verveer said he is surprised no one has been killed in any of the recent shootings.
“It’s sheer dumb luck that no one has been killed by these incidents,” Verveer said.
Verveer said the city has given MPD increased resources to deal with violent crimes. He said some bars that have had violence problems have implemented stronger dress codes to deter criminal activity.
Verveer said the city has in the past also responded to these events by increasing lighting downtown. He added Brats is planning on making changes to prevent future incidents specifically by instituting a dress code.
Verveer said the people who are involved in these shootings often do not go to State Street looking for a fight, rather an altercation develops and a confrontation ensues. He expressed confidence in the ongoing police investigations.
“I expect an arrest to be made soon, the police have strong leads,” Verveer said.