'Please come on down': Bar owner hopeful recent gun violence won't deter people from downtown businesses
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Friday night was a first for Buck Bradley's owner Walt Paget. His establishment, opened in 1995, was forced to close early after a string of shootings downtown.
"That was the first time," Paget explained. "That came out of nowhere. I think the entire city is shocked."
Twenty-one people were injured in three separate shootings Friday night. The long-term impact the night of violence could have on local businesses has yet to be seen.
"You could end up seeing the effects as the weekend went on," Paget said. "My partners here on the street, we're competitors but we are real partners when it comes to trying to keep this nightlife district alive."
Miriam Ward and Haley Jensen are both finishing up their junior year at Milwaukee School of Engineering. They had considered going out Friday night but decided against it.
"I was pretty grateful that I wasn't out," Ward said, adding that Friday night's events may change the way she approaches going out in Milwaukee. "That's going to be a worry in the back of my mind, like "Oh, it'll possibly be a shooting. It's not something I want to be worrying about."
Her friend and classmate echoed those concerns.
"It's progressively kind of gotten worse," Jensen said. "When I first came here it wasn't too bad, I felt safe coming out. Now it's, you never really know what's going to happen, even when you're in a group, and being a woman, it's scary either way."
Both students are hopeful that city leaders and police will be able to come up with a solution to the violence so they can comfortably enjoy themselves during their senior year of college.
As for Paget, he's hopeful people will still have faith and give the downtown nightlife district a chance.
"We need to end up making sure that our customers know, and the rest of the city knows, and the outlining areas, that that will not happen again," Paget said. "We all have a great time. Please come on down and give us another shot."