five shot at a funeral as the body was being lowered into the ground
At least two people were shot at a burial on Thursday afternoon for a young man fatally shot by police in Wisconsin in May, according to information from Racine police and attendees.
Mourners were paying their last respects to 37-year-old Da’Shontay L. King when gunfire erupted at Graceland Cemetery, witnesses said.
One attendee, who identified himself as the grandfather of one of King’s four sons but asked not to be named, said the incident came as a complete shock.
“It was real quiet, the pastor was lowering the body into the ground, and all of a sudden they just started shooting,” he told The Daily Beast. “The only thing I can say is, I just saw people diving. I didn’t see this coming, and I was standing there. I don’t think most people saw this coming. Some people thought it was firecrackers.”
Cortaisha Thompson, 23, was there and said her aunt, Kendra Gamble, was wounded and is now in critical but stable condition.
“She was shot at the gravesite,” Thompson told The Daily Beast. “We just left the hospital, she was sent on Flight for Life to Milwaukee. We’re going to Milwaukee now, they just took her there.”
Thompson said Gamble is expected to survive but was helicoptered elsewhere “so she can get better care.”
Police said late Thursday that a girl was also shot and was later treated and released, according to WISN.
The viewing began at 10 a.m., with the service getting underway at noon, according to a funeral announcement sent out by King’s family.
In a statement, Racine Police said “multiple shots” were fired at the cemetery at 2:26 p.m. “There are victims but unknown how many at this time. The scene is still active and being investigated,” the statement said. Unnamed family members told local NBC affiliate TMJ4 that five attendees suffered gunshot wounds, though that number was later revised down to two by police.
King was shot and killed by a police officer in Racine during a traffic stop on May 20. Cops said King stepped out of his vehicle holding a gun and refused to comply with orders to drop it. The officer then opened fire, and King was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I’m not going to sit here and sugar coat and act like he is a completely innocent person, that he’s never done any wrong, because he has,” King’s sister Natasha Mullen told local ABC affiliate WISN 12 the next day. But she said the family believed King would have “eventually dropped the weapon and continued running, as they said he’s done in the past,” the outlet reported.
In the same May 21 interview, Mullen described King as “all of our protectors. Not just his children, his nieces, his nephews too.”