KENOSHA, Wis. — The father of Jacob Blake, the Black man who was seen in a viral video over the weekend being shot several times in the back by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, said Tuesday that the shooting has left his son paralyzed from the waist down.
Blake’s father, who shares his son’s name, told the Chicago Sun-Times that Sunday’s shooting left “eight holes” in the younger Blake’s body. Doctors weren’t immediately sure if the paralysis would be permanent, according to the newspaper. The elder Blake said he was driving Tuesday from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Wisconsin to be with his son.
Update 11:44 p.m. EDT Aug. 25: Protesters faced off with members of the Kenosha Police Department and the National Guard for the third consecutive night after the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Armored vehicles shot teargas and rubber bullets were fired to disperse a crowd of protesters outside the Kenosha courthouse, WDJT reported. The crowd responded by throwing objects, including glass and plastic bottles, the television station reported.
Earlier, Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, said her family “just really need(s) prayers,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“As I was riding through here, through the city, I noticed a lot of damage,” Jackson said. “That doesn’t reflect my son or my family.”
“We need healing. As I pray for my son’s healing physically, emotionally and spiritually, I also have been praying even before this for the healing of our country.”
Update 7:39 p.m. Aug. 25: The U.S. Justice Department and FBI agents in Wisconsin are reviewing the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Jacob Blake, 29, a Black man and father of six from Kenosha, Wisconsin, CNN reported.
According to statements from his family, Blake was shot Sunday evening as he tried to get into a small SUV with his three sons, ages 8, 5, and 3, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Video of the shooting appeared to show an officer grab Blake by the back of his shirt as he tried to get into a small SUV, then shoot him seven times at point-blank range. In the video, Blake did not appear to have anything in his hands.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice originally picked up the case, WDJT reported. Three police officers were placed on leave, the television station reported.
Update 5:01 p.m. Aug. 25: Patrick Salvi, an attorney who is part of the legal team representing the Blake family, said during a news conference Tuesday in Kenosha, that Jacob Blake “has a long road to recovery.”
Salvi said Blake, 29, suffered a bullet wound that severed his spinal cord and he also was shot in the stomach. He added that Blake had to have his colon and small intestine removed during surgery and had damage to his kidney and liver. Blake also was shot in the arm, Salvi said.
Another family attorney, Benjamin Crump, said it “was going to take a miracle” for the younger Blake to walk again.
“They shot my son seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter,” Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake, said at Tuesday’s news conference. “But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.”
Original report: “I want to put my hand on my son’s cheek and kiss him on the forehead, and then I’ll be OK,” he told the Sun-Times. “I’ll kiss him with my mask. The first thing I want to do is touch my son.”
Benjamin Crump, an attorney representing the Blake family, told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday that Blake remained in stable condition in an intensive care unit after the shooting.
“He’s still facing more surgeries in the near future,” Crump said.
At least one officer opened fire after police were called to respond to a domestic incident Sunday afternoon in Kenosha. Witnesses told WISN-TV that officers were called after two women began fighting at a home. Family members told WLS-TV that the shooting happened after Blake broke up the fight.
“He wasn’t aggressive,” a neighbor across the street from the scene of the shooting, who recorded video of the incident Sunday, told WISN-TV. “The police might say he was resisting arrest, but he wasn’t attacking the police. They were telling him to drop the knife. I didn’t see a knife in his hand. He wasn’t coming at them with a knife. And they shot him in the back as they were pulling on his shirt. I don’t understand that.”
Video recorded by the neighbor shows officers following Blake with their weapons drawn as he walks around an SUV and opens its front door. An officer can be seen tugging on Blake's shirt before shooting him several times in the back at point-blank range.
Blake’s fiancee, Laquisha Booker, told WTMJ-TV that their children were in the car at the time of the shooting.
“That man just literally grabbed him by his shirt and looked the other way and was just shooting him. With the kids in the back screaming. Screaming,” Booker said, according to WTMJ-TV and The Associated Press.
Crump said the children are 8, 5 and 3 years old.
"(They) are absolutely devastated," Crump said. "You can only imagine the psychological problems that these babies are going to have for the rest of their lives."
Blake’s father told the Sun-Times that the 29-year-old had planned to spend Sunday celebrating his son’s eighth birthday.
“What justified all those shots? What justified doing that in front of my grandsons?” the elder Blake said. “What are we doing?”
Anger over the shooting spilled into the streets Sunday and Monday night, with demonstrators clashing with police and defying attempts to enforce a city-wide curfew, according to the AP. Officers deployed tear gas to disperse crowds both nights.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shooting with the help of the Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office, Kenosha police said. The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave while authorities investigate the incident.
Cox Media Group