An argument at a nightclub in a popular tourist area spilled into the streets early Sunday and erupted into fighting and gunfire that left two people dead and a third wounded, authorities said.
Detectives were still sorting through details and trying to determine a motive, but police Capt. Michael Young said there were 50 to 75 witnesses. There were no immediate arrests.
"There was an argument, some type of disturbance in the nightclub," Young said. "It was closing, whether security pushed them outside or not, we don't know."
When the argument moved outside the Vision club, about 15 people pushed, scuffled and exchanged punches until shots were fired by at least two gunmen, he said.
Two men, ages 22 and 29, died after being shot multiple times, Young said. A third man, also 22, was shot and taken to a hospital.
Club employees locked the door and fled during the incident, Young said.
Police said they will not allow the club to reopen because the owners had been operating it as a dance club even though the city had denied them a dance hall license.
Calls to the club rang unanswered Sunday.
The club is on Old World 3rd Street, a tourist spot along the Milwaukee River.
"It's a good area, a safe area of Milwaukee," Young said. "We had not had any homicides there in the last 2 1/2 to three years."