Here's What We Know About The Kenosha, Wisconsin, Shooting

A 17-year-old from Illinois has been charged in a shooting that left two dead and another injured.

On Tuesday night, video captured the moment a 17-year-old wielding an assault rifle appeared to shoot two people during a protest in Wisconsin following the police shooting of a Black man days earlier. Two people are now dead and a third person is injured. Here’s everything we know so far:

Protests began after officers shot a Black man in his back seven times.

Outrage erupted across the U.S. following another police shooting of a Black man on Sunday. Cellphone video captured the moment 29-year-old Jacob Blake walked to his car and was shot at least seven times in the back by Kenosha police officers.

It’s unclear what occurred prior to the shooting, which police have described as a “reported domestic incident.” Witnesses told the Chicago Sun-Times that Blake was trying to break up a fight.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Wednesday identified Rusten Sheskey as the officer who shot Blake. Kaul said officers were responding to a call from a woman about a domestic issue and had attempted to use a Taser on Blake, but were “unsuccessful.”

The cellphone video shows that Blake was unarmed as he walked toward his car, where his three children ― ages 3, 5 and 8 ― were sitting when police shot him. Blake had plans to celebrate his 8-year-old son’s birthday the day he was shot.

Attorney Ben Crump, who has also represented the family of George Floyd, said Tuesday that Blake is alive but paralyzed after the bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae.

“It’s going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again,” Crump said at a press conference.

Blake’s family plans to file a civil lawsuit against the police department over the shooting.

Protesters clashed with police and the National Guard.

On Monday night, hundreds of protesters defied an 8 p.m. curfew to make their voices heard and to hold the police department that left Blake paralyzed accountable.

At least 125 members of the Wisconsin National Guard joined local law enforcement officers in quelling the protests, clashing with demonstrators. By the end of Monday’s protests, 34 fires had been set and 30 businesses were either destroyed or damaged, according to The Associated Press. One of those destroyed buildings was Kenosha’s Department of Corrections, which was torched to the ground.

By Tuesday, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) declared a state of emergency and increased the number of National Guard members to 250. At a press conference that same day, Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, made a plea for peace.

“As I was riding through here, through the city, I noticed a lot of damage. It doesn’t reflect my son or my family,” Jackson said. “If Jacob knew what was going on as far as that goes, the violence and the destruction, he would be very unpleased.”

She called for prayers and to “examine our hearts.”

“Let’s use our hearts, our love, and our intelligence to work together to show the rest of the world how humans are supposed to treat each other,” Jackson said.

Armed vigilantes showed up to a protest, and two people were killed.

On Tuesday night, photos and videos captured by demonstrators showed men armed with assault rifles roaming the streets and chumming it up with police. Video showed police throwing multiple bottles of water to one of the armed men. “We appreciate you guys, we really do,” an officer says.

More than 3,000 people had signed up for a Facebook event called “Armed Citizens to Protect Our Lives and Property” that was created by a group calling itself the Kenosha Guard, The Verge reported.

“Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight from the evil thugs?” the event description read. “No doubt they are currently planning on the next part of the city to burn tonight.”

Later Tuesday night, two people were fatally shot and another was wounded, allegedly by an out-of-state 17-year-old who may have been connected with the group.

The shooting suspect is 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse.

Graphic cellphone footage taken Tuesday night shows what appears to be the shooting suspect, Kyle Rittenhouse, running from protesters after a volley of gunshots rings out. He trips, then is seen shooting two protesters who confront him.

As bystanders cry out to police that people have been shot, Rittenhouse is seen walking toward officers with his hands raised in surrender. Police ignore him.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of killing two people and injuring another during an anti-racism demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, is accused of killing two people and injuring another during an anti-racism demonstration in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday.

Police identified Rittenhouse as the suspected shooter on Wednesday, many hours after Twitter users and those at the protest had already identified him.

Rittenhouse was charged with murder and arrested Wednesday afternoon.

Public records show Rittenhouse lives in Antioch, Illinois, a village by the Wisconsin border that is about a 30-minute drive from Kenosha.

In an interview with a Daily Caller reporter on Tuesday night before the shooting, Rittenhouse claimed he was there to protect businesses.

“People are getting injured and our job is to protect this business,” Rittenhouse said in the clip posted to Twitter. “And my job also is to protect people. If someone is hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle; I’ve gotta protect myself obviously. But I also have my med kit.”

A Facebook profile of Rittenhouse, which was taken down Wednesday afternoon, shows the extent to which the teen appeared to love guns and police. His profile was littered with “Blue Lives Matter” and “Back the Blue” slogans. He was also a onetime police cadet, and for his birthday asked people to donate to the pro-police “Humanizing The Badge” nonprofit. He also posted photos of himself holding an assault rifle.

Rittenhouse’s level of involvement with the Kenosha Guard group is still unclear, but he was seen standing alongside older armed men who are part of the vigilante group as they claimed to be protecting a parking lot, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.

The dead have been identified only as a 26-year-old Silver Lake, Wisconsin, resident and a 36-year-old from Kenosha. The wounded person is a 36-year-old Wisconsin resident who was shot in the arm and is expected to survive.

Trump ignores the killings, vows to stop “looting.”

Despite the throngs of armed men terrorizing the streets of Kenosha, President Donald Trump instead responded to the businesses being looted and set on fire.

“We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence and lawlessness on American streets,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistances (Portland should do the same!)”

Trump said in a follow-up tweet that he would send federal law enforcement to Kenosha. Evers authorized sending 500 members of the National Guard to the city.

The escalation of federal troops mirrors that of Portland, Oregon, where Trump sent unidentified federal agents in July to quell anti-racism protests. Militarized police were captured on video taking protesters off the street and putting them in unmarked vans. Other videos showed agents tear-gassing protesters, including the mayor.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf claimed in a July 16 memo that Portland had been overrun with “violent anarchists,” citing dozens of alleged incidents. Most were for vandalism, a crime generally handled by local law enforcement.

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