A juvenile suspected of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has been arrested as protests over police brutality and the shooting of Jacob Blake continue to rock the city and the country.
Court records show Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, faces a first-degree intentional homicide charge in Kenosha County. He is now jailed in Lake County, Illinois, and has been charged there as a fugitive from justice. He will appear for extradition hearing on Friday.
Based on Wisconsin law, Rittenhouse would be charged as an adult.
For three nights, violent protests have torn through Kenosha after a police officer shot Blake from behind at close range while he was getting in a vehicle. Since then, buildings have been burned, windows smashed out and stores looted.
President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has “agreed to accept federal assistance,” and that federal law enforcement and the National Guard would be sent to the city, he tweeted. Five hundred members of the National Guard would be going to Kenosha County, the governor’s office said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump of “making matters worse” in Kenosha and elsewhere by encouraging vigilantes.
“What we saw in Kenosha breaks your heart; it does pierce the soul, as was said,” Pelosi said when asked about the unrest.
Clashes between protesters and law enforcement continued nearly three hours past curfew near Civic Center Park in Kenosha. About 250 law enforcement officers and 250 National Guard members were on hand Tuesday night to quell the recent unrest, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said.
Anger over the shooting has spilled into the streets of other cities, including Los Angeles and Minneapolis, the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer following George Floyd’s death.
Tuesday’s shooting happened at about 11:45 p.m., Kenosha police said, on Sheridan Road in the heart of Kenosha near the Froedert South hospital building. Many people were still on the streets in protest just before the shooting, walking up and down Sheridan Road, where protesters had been driven after being expelled from Civic Center Park.
The sounds of gunshots sent people running and looking for places to hide, including behind bushes along the hospital fence line.
One of the victims walked into the hospital after he or she was injured, Beth said. Another was picked up by law enforcement.
Social media footage appears to show at least three were shot
Cellphone video of at least two of the shootings that was posted online shows what appears to be a white man with a semi-automatic rifle jogging down the middle of a street as a crowd and some police officers follow him. Someone in the crowd can be heard asking “What did he do?” and another person responds that the man had shot someone.
A widely shared video shows a man sprinting into a parking lot, carrying a long gun. Someone pursuing him appears to throw something toward him. Multiple gunshots are heard.
Another video, posted to Twitter by Shelby Talcott of the Daily Caller, shows a gunshot victim lying in the parking lot. The victim appears to be the man who had been pursuing the gunman. The victim appeared to have been shot in the head, and bystanders were applying pressure to the wound.
In a later video posted by Talcott, bystanders were carrying the victim across a road toward a hospital.
Other videos show a man wielding a long gun running, pursued by others, before he falls to the ground and fires the gun at people who seem to be trying to disarm him. While on the ground, it appears the gunman shot two of them.
The victim who was shot in the arm ran away from the shooter. More gunshots followed. A bystander who was live-streaming helped the victim with tying a tourniquet around his arm.
The gunman is then seen heading north toward several police tactical vehicles, his arms raised, according to video footage. The tactical vehicles drive by him.
Victims have not yet been identified
Earlier Wednesday, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that one victim had been shot in the head and another in the chest late Tuesday, just before midnight. Beth didn’t know where the other person was shot, but video posted on social media showed someone had been shot in the arm.
The incident occurred at about 11:45 p.m., Kenosha police said.
The release from the Kenosha Police Department said the injuries to the third individual were not life threatening. The release said the names, ages and cities of residence for the victims were still being determined.
No suspects have been apprehended
No one has been apprehended, but Beth said he believed at least one person would be taken into custody soon based on video footage police have reviewed. Authorities were looking for a man armed with a long gun.
“I feel very confident we’ll have him in a very short time,” Beth said.
It was unclear if there was more than one shooter. Beth said he did not know.
The investigation of the latest shooting is being conducted by the Kenosha Police Department with the assistance of the FBI, Beth said.
Officials asked that anyone who witnessed the shootings contact the Kenosha Police Department Detective Bureau.
Sheriff: ‘They’re like a vigilante group’
Beth said people who fashion themselves as belonging to a militia have been patrolling Kenosha’s streets in recent nights, but he did not know if the shooter was involved with such a group.
“They’re a militia,” Beth said. “They’re like a vigilante group.”
A Journal Sentinel reporter earlier in the evening observed a group of armed men with long guns standing guard at a dry cleaning business, some on the roof.
Police told them to get off the roof and a person shouted back: “Officer, this is our business.” Police did not ultimately order them off the roof.
Before the shooting, someone from Kenosha suggested to Beth that he deputize ordinary citizens to help contain the unrest. Beth said he refused.
“I said, ‘There’s no way I’m doing that,’” Beth said.
Wisconsin lieutenant governor Mandela Barnes spoke to independent news outlet Democracy Now and shared his thoughts on the overnight shooting in Kenosha, specifically discussing the presence of armed civilians at sites of community unrest.
“We can’t even act surprised that this happened. This is what they’ve been saying they’re going to do, whatever armed militia group. They don’t do those quasi-military tactical trainings for nothing,” Barnes said. “They are preparing for an event. And something like this, where people are standing up, demanding racial justice in this country, is a perfect opportunity for them to strike, and that is what you saw in the video.”
The Kenosha County Board of Supervisors sent Gov. Tony Evers a letter asking that 1,500 additional National Guard members be immediately deployed to Kenosha County.
Jacob Blake’s case: Dispatch audio provides timeline, Wisconsin DOJ investigating
The shooting of Blake on Sunday happened quickly, with less than three minutes elapsing between the time the first officer arrived and shots being fired, according to dispatch audio.
Here is a timeline of the shooting pieced together from police radio transmissions, Kenosha police, video and witnesses. The police radio traffic is from Broadcastify, a platform for streaming live audio of public safety, aircraft, rail and marine-related communications.
The Journal Sentinel, a part of the USA TODAY Network, typically does not rely on radio traffic to report on breaking news, as the information can change or be inaccurate. But this audio reveals some of what police officers were hearing, and the time stamps provide a general time frame of the shooting.
Police have not released an account of what happened. Kenosha police officers are not equipped with body cameras. Officers have dashboard cameras in their squad cars but authorities did not say if any part of the shooting had been captured on those cameras.
The incident is being investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, which has said it will attempt to present its findings to prosecutors within 30 days.
Blake’s mother says son would be ‘unpleased’ with destruction
Julia Jackson, Blake’s mother, told reporters Tuesday that the destruction throughout the city of Kenosha since her son’s shooting is extremely disturbing.
“We really just need prayers,” Jackson said. “As I was riding through here, the city, I noticed a lot of damage. It doesn’t reflect my son or my family. If Jacob knew what was going on as far as that goes – the violence and the destruction – he would be very unpleased.”
Jackson, standing with civil rights attorney Ben Crump, said she was able to see Blake in the hospital and prayed with him. Blake is paralyzed from the waist down and Crump said it would be “a miracle” if he ever walks again.
Crump said Blake was undergoing more surgery Tuesday. One of Crump’s fellow attorneys, Patrick Salvi said it is miraculous Blake is alive after Sunday’s incident and that Blake was hit with “at least seven, as many as eight” bullets and will require lengthy rehabilitation.
“He had a bullet go through some or all of his spinal cord,” Salvi said before announcing plans for a civil lawsuit. “At least one bullet. He has holes in his stomach. He had to have nearly his entire colon and small intestines removed. He suffered damage to his kidney and liver and was also shot in the arm.”
Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., who at one point was too distraught to stay at the press conference, said the family is seeking out child psychologists for the children who saw the shooting.
Unrest across the nation: 64 protesters arrested in Louisville, Portland police declare unlawful assembly
What organizers called a “massive demonstration” over the death of Breonna Taylor led to the arrests of more than 60 protesters in Louisville on Tuesday afternoon.
The demonstration marks the end of BreonnaCon, a four-day event meant to draw attention to her case. The event was organized by New York-based social justice organization Until Freedom, which was behind the July sit-in at Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s house that resulted in 87 arrests. The group’s leaders have been in Louisville for the past month to lead protests in the name of Taylor and racial justice.
Louisville Metro Police Department Interim Chief Robert Schroeder said at a news briefing Tuesday afternoon that 64 people were arrested and charged with obstructing a roadway and disorderly conduct.
The arrests happened after at least 300 protesters gathered at South Central Park earlier in the afternoon, chanting Breonna Taylor’s name. They planned to march to the Louisville Metro Police Training Academy.
Protests in Louisville have continued for 89 days as local marchers demand systemic change and the prosecution of the three police officers involved in the death of Taylor, a Black woman who was unarmed when she was fatally shot in her apartment during a narcotics raid that turned up no drugs.
Portland police have declared an unlawful assembly outside City Hall as protests over racial injustice persist.
Authorities ordered the crowd to disperse Tuesday night.
Late Monday night protesters repeatedly set fire to a police union headquarters building and were repelled by officers spraying tear gas, officials said. Twenty-five people were arrested amid clashes that stretched into Tuesday morning.
Portland has been gripped by nightly protests for nearly three months since the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
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