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2 Killed, 1 Injured In Shooting During Protests In Kenosha

Authorities Arrest Illinois Man In Connection With Deadly Shooting

blue and red lights fill the night as a lone protester raises their arms in front of large law enforcement vehicles
A protester stands in front of bearcats as people are cleared out of the area Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Kenosha. The protests were in response to police shooting and wounding Jacob Blake. Angela Major/WPR

Two people were killed and a third was injured in a shooting Tuesday night during protests in Kenosha, the city’s Police Department confirmed early Wednesday. It was the third night of protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

One victim was transported to the hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

After noon on Wednesday, Illinois law enforcement said they had made an arrest in connection with the Tuesday night shooting. According to court records filed in Lake County, Illinois, authorities have charged 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois with first degree intentional homicide.

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Police responded to reports of gunfire in the area of 63rd Street and Sheridan Road around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday. Shots were fired outside a gas station and three people were struck. Cellphone video circulating online appears to show a man opening fire in the middle of the street with a rifle.

A witness told The Kenosha News that one person was apparently shot in the head, appeared unresponsive and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

a man is seen in silhouette holding what appears to be a gun
People stand on the roof of a building as smoke surrounds them Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Kenosha. Angela Major/WPR

Protests Continue In Wisconsin Cities For Third Night

Protesters took to the streets in Kenosha, Madison and La Crosse on Tuesday night to demonstrate against the shooting of Blake by Kenosha police last weekend.

Protesters are illuminated by police lights as they raise their fists
Protesters raise their fists as a police car approaches Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha. Angela Major/WPR

Tuesday’s protest was the third night of public outrage about police violence after Blake, who is Black, was shot in the back and wounded on Sunday by Kenosha officers. Protests on Sunday night and Monday night in Kenosha turned violent and left businesses vandalized and dozens of buildings set on fire.

As a result of the violence, Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on Tuesday and authorized the deployment of more Wisconsin National Guard troops to Kenosha County. At the same time, county officials issued an overnight curfew.

Protesters March In Kenosha

A candlelight vigil in Kenosha was set for Tuesday evening, but was then rescheduled because of “civic unrest and the mayor having emergency powers,” according to a Facebook post by the Human First Project, which organized the event. The new vigil is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Kenosha protest
Protesters march in Kenosha on Tuesday night, Aug. 25, 2020. Angela Major/WPR

“There is a group of armed counter protester coming to civic park right after we start” said the post. “I want to keep you all safe. So please for your safety do not show up. I’ll monitor the situation on the ground and keep you all posted as we get closer to Friday.”

While the Kenosha vigil was postponed, around 100 protesters gathered on Tuesday evening to march through the city. Some residents could be seen boarding up windows as the march continued.

Kenosha march
Protesters lay down during march on Tuesday night, Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha. Angela Major/WPR
Protesters lie in the middle of the road
Protesters stage a die-in for seven minutes Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha. Angela Major/WPR

At one point, the demonstrators acted out a “die-in,” laying on the roadway for seven minutes — one minute for every time Jacob Blake was shot.

March organizers could be heard calling for releasing any video footage related to the Blake shooting, creating a community review board for police and defunding police.

Kenosha County officials declared an overnight curfew on Tuesday, lasting from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. Wednesday.

As 8 p.m. came, march organizers asked demonstrators to leave peacefully and quietly as it was curfew.

As marchers dispersed, another group moved into Civic Center Park across the street from the Kenosha County Courthouse.

Glenn Summers, of Kenosha, said the “other protesters” were from Milwaukee, Chicago and Minneapolis and wasn’t affiliated with the group that took to the streets Tuesday afternoon.

This second group, totaling 200 to 300 people, gathered near the courthouse and faced off against 40 to 50 law enforcement officers wearing riot gear. Authorities erected a fence to keep the crowd back. At one point, fireworks were apparently thrown near officers. Tear gas was then thrown toward the protesters. Some in the group were carrying rifles.

a large black fence bends slightly as protesters push on it
Protesters attempt to push down a fence in front of the Kenosha courthouse Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020. Angela Major/WPR

Just before 10 p.m. a large group of police in riot gear lined up along multiple armored vehicles in front of the Kenosha courthouse and began pushing the group back. Protesters moved back, but remained along the edge of Civic Center Park across from officers.

a headlight shines on protesters, one has their hands raised
Protesters stand in front of a bearcat as police attempt to disperse the crowd Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha. Angela Major/WPR
smoke surrounds a protester with a fist raised. they are seen in silhouette illuminated by a bearcat headlight.
A protester stands in front of a bearcat Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha. Angela Major/WPR

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse protesters, according to The Associated Press.

Earlier on Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers authorized an increased deployment of state National Guard troops to Kenosha County, from 125 to 250.

Hundreds Gather For Vigil, March In Madison

In Madison, several hundred people gathered Tuesday evening for a candlelight vigil for Blake and honoring victims and survivors of violence and then a march.

(Similar events were announced across the nation this week in places like New York City, Maryland and Mississippi.)

A couple of hundred people gathered at the top of State Street for the vigil, which was organized by Freedom Inc. Speakers addressed the crowd and poetry was read to the demonstrators. In the shadow of the state Capitol, protesters left flowers and photos to honor victims of violence.

Chanting “I love Black people,” marchers circled the Capitol Square following the vigil. A group of young people carried a large banner demanding community control of policing.

After gathering at the Capitol, the group marched to the City-County Building, where speakers demanded that more money be spent on social services and less on police.

Mahnker Dahnweih, of Freedom Inc., encouraged the crowd to take action to end violence.

“It’s a march that says we aren’t done yet, we are in righteous rebellion against the wrongs done to Black people every day,” she said. “I don’t want to be here next week.”

Demonstrators chanted slogans like “the whole damn system is guilty as hell,” and “free ’em all.”

About 200 people continued to march through downtown streets later into the night.

They were joined by a small group of city leaders and elected officials who were encouraging the protesters to remain peaceful, including former Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, Common Council President Sheri Carter and state Rep. Shelia Stubbs.

Madison Metropolitan School District Board President Gloria Reyes, who used to be on the police force, spoke out against the violence that has followed some of the protests.

Madison protest
A group of around 200 protesters gathered near the UW-Madison campus. Bridgit Bowden/WPR

“We’ve done a lot around police reform. You don’t get there by destroying Madison,” Reyes said.

Stubbs called on Republican legislators to act on police reform bills in special session called by Evers.

Just after 10 p.m., a group of around 200 protesters began to march near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

By the earlier hours of the morning, reporters on the scene posted images of some protesters breaking windows of businesses and residential buildings, and setting fires in the street along University Avenue. Madison Police say four people were arrested.

Demonstration Held in La Crosse

Nearly 60 people gathered in Riverside Park in downtown La Crosse at 6:30 p.m Tuesday to show support for Blake.

La Crosse protest
Protesters in La Cross chanted “Black Lives Matter” toward a pickup truck that parked near demonstrators while displaying a Confederate flag. Hope Kirwan/WPR

The group started by chanting “Black Lives Matter” for several minutes after a truck with a Confederate flag parked near the protest.

Allie Riebe, who lives in La Crosse and organized the protest, said Sunday’s shooting was “outraging” and she was frustrated to see so many people in the community questioning what Blake did to provoke police.

“We needed to show that even if that event didn’t happen here, we’re affected by it. At the same time, racism is super prevalent in this community,” Riebe said.

Brandon Sydnor spoke to the group about his experience with racism living in La Crosse, including being called a racial slur at work. He called on people to speak up when they witness racism in the community.

“Our job will not be done here until we can claim peace and equality for every single one of us,” Sydnor said.

The group marched through downtown to City Hall.

Small Group Rallies In Wausau

In Wausau, 27 people gathered outside the courthouse shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday carrying banners reading “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice 4 Jacob Blake.”

Wausau protest
Protesters gathered in Wausau on Tuesday night to demonstrate against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Rob Mentzer/WPR
Wausau protest
Protesters gathered in Wausau on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, to demonstrate against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Rob Mentzer/WPR
Wausau protest
Protesters gathered in Wausau on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, to demonstrate against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. Rob Mentzer/WPR

Blake Has Emerged From Surgery Tuesday

On Tuesday, Blake’s attorney said he was paralyzed when he was shot multiple times by police. Attorney Ben Crump spoke Tuesday alongside Blake’s family members. He said the 29-year-old was in surgery after being shot on Sunday night multiple times and it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again.

Another family attorney said they would be filing a civil lawsuit against the Police Department over the shooting.

Police have said little about what happened, other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating.

Editor’s note: This story will be updated. Rich Kremer, Rachael Vasquez, Angela Major, Bridgit Bowden, Shamane Mills and David Hyland contributed reporting.

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