Milwaukee Homicide Rates Continue to Rise
September 26, 2022

Tamira Musgrave



  • The Milwaukee Police Department has recorded 156 homicides reported as of September 2, compared to 122 at the same point back in 2021.
  • Nonfatal shootings have continued at the same pace as last year, with over 500 recorded for 2022.
  • Milwaukee looks like it will surpass 193 homicide-related deaths by the end of 2022, which was the new record set by the city for 2021. 
  • Firearm homicide is the leading cause of death for black males aged 15-24 in Milwaukee.

The Milwaukee Police Department has recorded 156 homicides reported as of September 2, compared to 122 at the same point back in 2021. Nonfatal shootings have continued at the same pace as last year, with over 500 recorded for 2022. Milwaukee looks like it will indeed surpass 193, which was the new record set by the city last year. 

One national survey from WalletHub reported that Milwaukee possesses the fourth-highest homicide rate increase in the United States. Cities across the map have been seeing increases in violent crimes. Milwaukee is shattering records as each year passes and continuously makes it on the list of America’s most dangerous cities

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that most individuals killed are under 30, predominantly from gun violence. Firearm homicide is the leading cause of death for black males aged 15-24 in Milwaukee. Many of these shootings happen in impoverished, low-income neighborhoods. 

Timothy Gauerke, Captain of the Milwaukee Police Department, said he believed the breakdown of the family structure is to blame for the staggering amount of youth dying from violence on the streets. He commented, “People don’t have the positive influences they had in days past, so they’re finding influences on the streets and with things that aren’t productive. They’re going with some of those social groups that are leading to some of this chaos.”

He adds, “People need to their friends and neighbors and the youth, and they need to show them that violence isn’t the answer to everything and settling petty disputes with a gun is just not the answer. Community members, clergy, and schools need to influence the youth to teach them that.” 

Consistent Violence on the Streets of Milwaukee

At the beginning of the year, six individuals were found dead inside a Milwaukee home in January. The victims involved in the homicide included:

  • 23-year-old Caleb Jordan
  • 31-year-old Javoni Liddell
  • 42-year-old Charles Hardy
  • 43-year-old Donald Smith
  • 44-year-old Donta Williams
  • 49-year-old Michelle Williams

The following month in February 2022, Jada Clay, a 10-year-old girl, was killed. Investigators said the circumstances seemed to be related to an argument. Police investigated the case as a homicide. 

In April, 30-year-old Shannon J. Freeman, a Milwaukee man, was fatally shot inside “The Loaded Slate,” a well-known pub in the Old World 3rd Street Entertainment District.   

In June 2022, on 16th Street near Burleigh, a 26-year-old woman and a 27-year-old man were shot and expected to survive, while another 23-year-old man died from his injuries. Less than 9 hours after this tragic event, a 38-year-old man was fatally shot near 36th and Brown. Milwaukee Police Dept. also reported a 62-year-old man who was shot and killed walking near 60th and Silver Spring

Even more disheartening news dropped this month when a 16-year-old was found dead from gunshot wounds in a vacant home in Milwaukee. This happened two days later and was only one mile away from a 17-year-old killed in another shooting. 

Police reported 11 separate shootings this month that injured a total of 17 individuals, also a stabbing that injured two others, including a mass shooting that wounded five between the ages of 25 and 31, which occurred on the 1400 block of South Comstock Avenue. 

Milwaukee Police are currently investigating six homicides that happened in the short span of three days, where three men and two women have been killed, in addition to a sixth unknown victim. Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office responded to each scene, and autopsies are scheduled for Monday, September 26. 

  • Friday 12:23 PM, adult male – North 8 and W. Atkinson Street
  • Saturday 3:20 AM, adult female – North 36 and W. Galena Street
  • Saturday 9:18 AM, adult female – North 48 and W. Locust Street
  • Saturday 8:47 PM, an unknown victim – North St. Louis Avenue and W. Palmer Street
  • Sunday 5:25 AM, adult male – North 15 Street and W Hauser Avenue
  • Sunday 8:35 AM, adult male – North 53 and W. Villard Street

The examples above are only a handful, and many more homicides have occurred this year. We have seen consistent violence within Milwaukee through each month of 2022, and the city seems to surpass 2021’s record of 193 at this rate. 

Milwaukee Communities Grieve Their Losses 

Community organizers gathered at Washington Park on Saturday, July 31, to bring the problem to light concerning the rising homicide rates in Milwaukee. Many community members, including Shantel Carson, help organize sessions where community members can join together and make their voices heard. 

Carson stated, “We want to be seen in the impacted neighborhoods. We want people to see that we’re standing up for a cause.” Shantel Carson has lost six family members to gun violence within a short six-month period between late 2019 and early 2020. She added, “It has a big impact on our family. It has a big impact on our community. The violence has to stop. The crime in our neighborhoods needs to stop.” 

An exceptionally sharp increase has developed in the south side of Police District Two, where homicides have spiked over 143% in just one year. Reverand Marty Calderon of “God Touch Milwaukee” commented about the violence plaguing the city, “We will be in the streets trying to do what we can do. What we’re seeing when we go hit the streets is the sense that, you know, there is no hope. But, by us being out there, we’re being an ear and being able to listen.” 

Every other Saturday, Calderon’s ministry utilizes a parking lot at S. 15th Street and Lincoln Ave. as a gathering place. The community can join together and express concerns and worries, including youth and crime. Most importantly, it’s a safe place to connect and bond with other individuals. Knowing people are trying to do what they can to help offers some hope and solace to the community. 

Rev. Calderon encourages people not to lose hope, and as bleak as things appear, there is still a chance to turn things around. He commented, “You say what could be positive? It’s that we’re starting to see more of the officers and more of the district captains that want to get more involved in the community.” Director of God Touch Milwaukee, Veronica Diaz, made it clear what the ministry hoped to do, “We want to bring that sense of community back to the south side of Milwaukee.”

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