Authorities said three people were shot, two fatally, late Tuesday in Kenosha as unrest gripped the Wisconsin city for the third straight night following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
At around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, officers responded to the area of 63rd and Sheridan Road for reports of a shooting, Kenosha police said in a statement.
The shooting "resulted in two fatalities," police said, and a gunshot victim was taken to an area hospital in serious condition with injuries that were not thought to be life-threatening.
Police did not release further details on the shooting, including the victims' identities or ages. Officials asked that anyone who witnessed the shooting or who may have information contact Kenosha detectives at (262) 605-5203, or Crime Stoppers at (262) 656-7333 if they wish to remain anonymous.
Police said investigators were aware of videos related to the shooting circulating on social media, asking anyone with further video or photo evidence to reach out.
The shooting took place as unrest boiled over in Kenosha for the third consecutive night after officers shot Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, several times in the back on Sunday in an incident that was captured on video and sparked outrage nationwide.
Police and protesters clashed several times Tuesday night, with officers dressed in tactical gear firing tear gas for the third night in a row at demonstrators who had previously thrown projectiles at law enforcement and attempted to breach newly erected barriers.
Authorities said firefighters responded to calls of nearly 40 different blazes set in the city on Monday night and into Tuesday morning.
Peaceful protests had again taken place during the day on Tuesday, but tensions continued to build as night fell once again. Many protesters remained on the streets near Civic Center Park in downtown Kenosha despite a curfew that went into effect at 8 p.m.
Police eventually declared the gathering to be an unlawful assembly and skirmishes between officers and demonstrators continued into the late evening and early morning hours.
In an effort to quell some of the unrest, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, doubling the National Guard presence to 250 soldiers in the city. Additional police have also been called in from other departments in Wisconsin to help enforce the curfew.
Evers quickly condemned the police shooting on Sunday, noting Blake "is not the first Black man or person to have been shot or injured or mercilessly killed at the hands of individuals in law enforcement in our state or our country," and on Tuesday called for a special session of the Wisconsin legislature to take up a package of police reforms as he issued a plea for demonstrations to remain calm.
"Tonight, and in the days ahead, if you are going to protest, please do so peacefully and safely," Evers said Tuesday. "Please do not allow the actions of a few distract us from the work we must do together to demand justice, equity, and accountability.”
The police shooting of Blake began to unfold at around 5:11 p.m. Sunday, when officers responded to a domestic incident in the 2800 block of 40th Street, Kenosha police said in a statement.
Graphic video posted on social media appeared to show officers grab at Blake's shirt and shoot him in the back at least seven times as he leaned into a vehicle. Three officers can be seen in the video, but it's unclear if more than one officer fired shots.
Police did not provide details on what led to the shooting but said the man, later identified at Blake, was taken in serious condition to a hospital in Milwaukee for treatment.
Blake's attorneys said during a news conference on Tuesday that the bullets struck Blake's spinal cord, resulting in the near-complete removal of his colon and small intestine, as well as damaging his kidney and liver.
Blake, according to family and attorneys, was paralyzed by the shooting but it remains unclear if that will be permanent.
"Because those bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered some of his vertebrae, it is going to take a miracle... for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again," Attorney Ben Crump said.
Kenosha police said the Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the shooting with the assistance of Wisconsin State Patrol and the Kenosha County Sheriff's Office.
Kenosha police added that the officers involved were placed on administrative leave as authorities investigate, noting that the Wisconsin DOJ's aim is to provide a report of the incident to a prosecutor within 30 days, at which point the prosecutor would make a determination about what charges, if any, are appropriate.
Blake's family and attorneys described him as a family man whose three sons were in the car at the time of the shooting, one of whom was celebrating a birthday.
"These little boys, these three little boys are going to have psychological problems for the rest of their lives," Crump said during a news conference alongside Blake's mother, father and three sisters. Blake's father added that the children "are stuck right now."
"All my grandson asks is, 'Why did police shoot my daddy in the back?'" said Jacob Blake Sr. "How would you feel if your white son walked up to you and asked, 'Why did police shoot my daddy in the back?' You would have no clue."
Blake's mother on Tuesday issued an impassioned plea for people across the country to "take a moment and examine your heart," saying her son would be "unpleased" by the violence and unrest sparked by his shooting.
"Citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians: do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts," Julia Jackson said. "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."
"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.