Jacob Blake case: 17-year-old arrested after 2 killed; Wisconsin AG says violence ‘despicable'

KENOSHA, Wis. — A 17-year-old man has been arrested in connection to a possible vigilante attack that left two people dead and another injured Tuesday night during protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Police in Antioch, Illinois, identified Kyle Rittenhouse as the person suspected of Tuesday night’s deadly shooting.

Protests began after one Kenosha police officer, identified as Rusten Sheskey, shot Blake, 29, in the back at point-blank range Sunday while responding to a report of a domestic incident, according to multiple reports and video of the incident that circulated on social media.

Update 11:53 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: A GoFundMe page was launched to raise money for a man organizers said was one of the persons fatally shot during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night, WTMJ reported. Organizers of the fundraiser said Anthony Huber was attending the protest at Civic Center Park when the accused gunman, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, opened fire, the television station reported.

The victim who survived the shooting attack Tuesday night was identified as Gaige Grosskreutz, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Grosskreutz was in Kenosha with the Milwaukee-based social justice reform group the People’s Revolution Movement, a spokeswoman for the group told the newspaper.

Authorities have not officially identified any of the victims, WTMJ reported.

Update 9:21 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: The Department of Justice confirmed that it has opened a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting of Jacob Blake. The FBI will conduct the investigation in cooperation with the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation and other state authorities, the DOJ said in a news release.

“Federal authorities are committed to investigating this matter as thoroughly and efficiently as possible,” the release said.

Update 7:25 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: At a news conference Wednesday evening, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul called the violence in Kenosha “despicable.”

“The violence and destruction that took place in Kenosha last night was despicable,” Kaul said. “While the two people who were killed and the person who was injured by gunfire have not yet been identified, we are thinking of their destroyed futures and their friends and families that must live with this overwhelming grief.”

Kaul said that Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old man shot Sunday night in Kenosha, admitted to police that he had a knife. Police, in searching the vehicle, said they recovered a knife from the floorboard.

Officer Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the police force, shot Blake while holding onto his shirt after officers first unsuccessfully used a taser.

Sheskey was the only officer who shot Blake, Kaul said.

The attorney general pleaded for calm from residents and suggested many of the protesters came from outside Kenosha.

“While those who seek to divide people may have the biggest megaphones and attract the most attention, they do not speak for the vast majority of us who seek greater unity, common ground, and justice,” Kaul said.

Update 3:35 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: Police confirmed to WFLD that Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old suspected vigilante accused of killing two people and injuring another in a shooting during protests in Kenosha on Tuesday night, is being charged as an adult.

Police said Rittenhouse will face a charge of first-degree intentional homicide for Tuesday night’s shooting.

A 26-year-old Silver Lake resident and a 36-year-old Kenosha resident died as a result of the shooting, according to authorities in Wisconsin. A third victim, a 26-year-old from West Allis, was also injured.

Rittenhouse was in custody Wednesday in Illinois ahead of an expected extradition hearing for his transfer to Wisconsin to face charges.

Update 3:05 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: Kenosha police Chief Daniel Miskinis said the two people killed when a gunman opened fire Tuesday night at a protest in Kenosha were a 26-year-old Silver Lake resident and a 36-year-old from Kenosha.

A third victim, who suffered injuries that didn’t appear to be life-threatening, is from West Allis, Miskinis said.

The chief declined to release more information on the victims.

Update 2:55 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said Wednesday that he believes the person suspected of killing two people and injuring a third in a shooting during protests Tuesday might have been part of a group which asked to be deputized to patrol the streets amid the ongoing protests.

Beth cautioned that authorities were still investigating and that he didn’t “know this for sure.”

The sheriff said he was contacted by a person Tuesday who asked why he wouldn’t deputize citizens who have guns to patrol Kenosha.

“What a scary, scary thought that would be in my world,” Beth said. “Part of the problem with this group is they create confrontation. ... It doesn’t help us.”

Update 2:10 p.m. EDT Aug. 26: Police in Antioch, Illinois, on Wednesday arrested a 17-year-old resident on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide, according to officials.

The teen, identified as Kyle Rittenhouse, is in custody in Illinois and expected to face an extradition hearing before being transferred to law enforcement officials in Wisconsin, Antioch police said.

Two people were killed Tuesday night in an attack carried out by a young white man who was caught on cellphone video opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.

“I just killed somebody,” he could be heard saying at one point during the shooting rampage that erupted just before midnight.

Update 9:10 a.m. EDT Aug. 26: Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that, based on video footage reviewed by police, he was confident that authorities would soon make an arrest in a deadly shooting reported during protests Tuesday night.

“I feel very confident we’ll have him in a very short time,” Beth said.

Beth told the Journal Sentinel that armed people have been patrolling the city’s streets in recent nights, although he wasn’t immediately sure whether the person or people responsible for Tuesday’s shooting were part of the group.

“They’re a militia,” Beth said. “They’re like a vigilante group.”

Cellphone video posted online of at least two of the shootings 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.

The man with the gun stumbles and falls, and as he is approached by people in the crowd, he fires three or four shots from a seated position, hitting at least two people, including one who falls over and another who stumbles away to cries of “Medic! Medic!”

With the crowd scattering, the shooter stands up and continues walking down the street as police cars arrive. The man puts up his hands and walks toward the squad cars, with someone in the crowd yelling at police that the man had just shot someone, but several of the cars drive past him toward the people who had been shot.

Update 8:30 a.m. EDT Aug. 26: In a news release issued early Wednesday, police confirmed that three people were shot during protests overnight in Kenosha, including two people who have died from their injuries.

Authorities said the third person shot had injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening.

Police said the shooting happened around 11:45 p.m. near the intersection of 63rd Street and Sheridan Road. Authorities declined to release more information on the victims or the circumstances leading up to the situation.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Original report: Three people were shot, and two of them died early Wednesday as demonstrations protesting the Sunday shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha rocked the Wisconsin city for the third consecutive night.

According to The New York Times, law enforcement authorities confirmed the shootings occurred just after midnight.

Blake, the Black man who was seen in a viral video over the weekend being shot multiple times in the back by police, remains hospitalized and is paralyzed from the waist down, his father confirmed.

Wednesday morning’s clashes were heavily concentrated near the county courthouse in downtown Kenosha, following an hours-long standoff between protesters and police outside a “newly erected metal barrier” protecting the structure, the Times reported.

Shots were reportedly fired after midnight outside a gas station several blocks from the primary protest, wounding three people. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the Times one of the shooting victims died, but the conditions of the other two are not known.

According to The Washington Post, the shots were fired as a group of protesters faced off with police in armored trucks. Video from the scene reportedly shows a young, white male carrying an AR-15-style rifle running away from the group, falling to the ground and then firing multiple rounds into the crowd.

Two more people fell to the ground, one shot in the arm and one who shouts in a second video that he had been shot in the head, the Post reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments on this article