Note: Press conferences and live video will be available in the player above as they occur.
Protests continued in Kenosha for the fourth consecutive night on Wednesday following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, with demonstrations remaining peaceful and little sign of vigilante groups like those seemingly involved in the chaos and violence of the previous night.
Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, was arrested in his north suburb hometown on Wednesday and is facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide after authorities say he shot three people, two fatally, during the unrest that gripped the Wisconsin city on Tuesday night.
The Kenosha County sheriff said Wednesday that he believed the alleged gunman was part of a group that asked him to "deputize" them, noting he refused to do so.
New details have emerged about Rittenhouse, the calls for vigilantes that spread on social media and the investigation into the police shooting of Blake.
Here are the latest updates on the situation unfolding in Kenosha:
Wisconsin Lt. Governor Questions Why Gunman Wasn't Arrested Immediately After Kenosha Shooting
In a passionate response during a press conference Thursday, Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes questioned how a teenage gunman accused of fatally shooting two people in Kenosha was able to walk by police while armed and travel to his Illinois home before his ultimate arrest.
Underscoring national concerns about racial injustice in policing, Barnes pointed out the disparity between officers' apparent treatment of the armed teen following a fatal shooting and the treatment of Jacob Blake, who was shot at least seven times in the back by an officer.
"The guy's from out of town," Barnes said. "So think about how ridiculous that is. Who is he accountable to? Nobody. And for him to even be able to shoot somebody and still walk away from the scene. I mean, they talked about finding a knife inside of the car, not even on Jacob Blake's person, but this guy's carrying a long gun and kills somebody just walking freely, was able to get back home to Illinois then we've got a much bigger problem on our hands."
Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, was arrested and charged in connection with the shooting, which took place amid turmoil after a Kenosha police officer shot Blake Sunday, potentially paralyzing him.
Rittenhouse faces charges of first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree reckless homicide, among others, following the shooting. The teen was taken into custody in Lake County, Illinois, Wednesday and is scheduled for an extradition hearing on Friday.
Social media footage surfaced surrounding the late-night fatal shooting during unrest. Witness accounts and video indicate the gunman first shot someone at a car lot just before midnight, but details on what sparked that shooting weren't immediately clear.
The alleged gunman then jogged away, fell in the street, and opened fire again as members of the crowd closed in on him, some appearing to kick and grab at his weapon. According to witness accounts and video footage, police apparently let the gunman walk past them and leave the scene with a rifle over his shoulder and his hands in the air as members of the crowd were yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people.
When asked why the gunman was not arrested in the moment, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said he couldn't say for certain, but noted the chaos surrounding officers that night.
"I've been in a shooting before and in situations that are high stress you have such an incredible tunnel vision you have no idea what outside right here," he said.
Barnes also discouraged vigilante groups from going into Kenosha streets armed during unrest. While it's not clear if Rittenhouse was acting as part of such groups, there were several armed citizens on Kenosha streets the night of the shooting.
"That's not normal behavior," Barnes said. "These people aren't out here as auxiliary officers. Police have all the support they need from the National Guard so if in fact that is the case that this sort of person is being celebrate as a vigilante as a militiaman then that's ridiculous and speaks to a much larger problem and it is completely discouraged. it's more than discouraged. that should never happen.... that is something that is completely horrifying.
17-Year-Old Charged in Kenosha Shootings That Killed 2 During Unrest
Prosecutors have charged a 17-year-old from Illinois in the fatal shooting of two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the wounding of a third.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley filed the charges against Kyle Rittenhouse Thursday afternoon. The charges include one count of first-degree intentional homicide; one count of first-degree reckless homicide; one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide; two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment. All those charges are felonies.
He could face a mandatory life sentence if convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, the most serious crime in Wisconsin.
Brian Urlacher Criticizes NBA Players for Boycotting Playoffs, Likes Post Supporting Kenosha Shooting Suspect
Former Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher took to Instagram Thursday to compare the NBA boycotting playoff games on Wednesday to a performance by a former Green Bay Packers quarterback.
“Brett Favre played the MNF game the day his dad died, threw 4 TDs in the first half, and was a legend for playing in the face of adversity,” Urlacher’s post read. “NBA players boycott the playoffs because a dude reaching for a knife, wanted on a felony sexual assault warrant, was shot by police.”
On Wednesday, players from six NBA teams refused to play postseason games in an act of protest amid the shooting by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday of Jacob Blake, a Black man, apparently in the back while three of his children looked on.
Urlacher was also found to have liked an Instagram post calling to “free Kyle Rittenhouse,” the 17-year-old from Antioch, IL suspected in the shooting deaths of two people during protests in Kenosha on Tuesday.
Gov. Evers Plans Press Conference With Other Officials for 5 p.m.
Gov. Tony Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp with the Wisconsin National Guard are expected to hold a press conference Thursday evening.
The update is set for 5 p.m. at the Kenosha Emergency Operations Center. (Stream it live in the player above.)
Kenosha Protests Continue Peacefully, Without Vigilante Groups
Protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of Jacob Blake were mostly peaceful following the arrest of a 17-year-old police admirer accused of killing two people and wounding a third during a chaotic night of demonstrations and unrest.
As of early Thursday, there were no groups patrolling with long guns as there were during previous nights of protests over the Sunday shooting of Blake, who was left paralyzed. Protesters also stayed away from a courthouse that had been the site of standoffs with law enforcement.
Protesters marched past the intersection where two people were shot Tuesday night, stopping to gather around the spot where one person was shot, and to pray and lay flowers. Daijon Spann said he decided to join the demonstration because one of those killed the night before was a friend.
“I couldn’t take it any more,” he said. “I couldn’t just sit there and watch my friend die.”
New Details Emerge Around Teen Suspect Accused of Shooting, Killing 2 People in Kenosha
New details are emerging Wednesday about Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old accused of shooting and killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin and wounding another.
Rittenhouse is facing multiple charges of first degree murder after the shooting, which took place amid the turmoil that continues Wednesday in Kenosha after police shot and wounded Jacob Blake earlier this week.
As authorities piece together a case against Rittenhouse, new details are beginning to emerge about his life. Obsessed with law enforcement, Rittenhouse routinely posted pictures of himself on social media, including photos with the phrase “Blue Lives Matter” featured prominently.
Another video, posted to a Tik Tok account purportedly run by Rittenhouse, appears to show him sitting in the front row of a rally hosted by President Donald Trump earlier this year.
Rittenhouse was arrested Wednesday morning in an Antioch apartment complex, and his neighbors are in disbelief.
“I still want to know the full story of what happened, but it’s pretty scary,” Tammy Blanton said. “He’s only a year older than my daughter.”
Now, police are taking extra precautions throughout the area in the event of unrest following the arrest. A curfew is in effect in Antioch Wednesday night, and will remain in effect until Thursday morning, according to city officials, after law enforcement agencies detected potential threats to cause civil unrest and vandalism in the community.
Now, Rittenhouse remains held in Lake County jail without bond, and he is expected to be extradited to Wisconsin to face charges later this week.
Vigilante Calls Spread on Social Media Before Deadly Kenosha Shooting
Repeated calls for armed vigilantes to travel to Kenosha, Wisconsin, to protect businesses following the police shooting of Jacob Blake spread across social media in the hours before two people were shot to death and a third was wounded during a third night of unrest in the city.
Multiple threads on Facebook and Reddit urged militias and other armed people to head to the protests, researchers at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Lab said in a blog post Wednesday. The demonstrations broke out after Blake was left paralyzed Sunday when he was shot from behind by officers answering a domestic dispute call.
Two people were killed by gunfire Tuesday night and Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide.
A video director for the conservative website The Daily Caller tweeted Wednesday that he had conducted a video interview with the suspected gunman before the shooting and posted a clip in which the armed young man, standing in front of a boarded-up building, said “our job is to protect this business.”
“And part of my job is to also help people," he said. "If there is somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle -- because I can protect myself, obviously. But I also have my med kit.”
The Atlantic Council researchers said that before the attack some of the online discussions encouraged acts of violence while the conspiracy website InfoWars amplified the call to arms, potentially encouraging more armed people to head to Kenosha. In Wisconsin, people 18 and over can legally openly carry a gun without a permit.
Facebook confirmed Wednesday that it took down a page called Kenosha Guard for violating its policy against militia organizations. The company said it also is in the process of removing other accounts and material tied to the shootings that violate its policies, such as for glorifying violence, and it is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the matter.
Facebook later said it removed the suspected shooter’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram.
The company said it had not found evidence on Facebook that suggests the suspected shooter followed the Kenosha Guard Page or was invited on its Event Page to go to the protests.
"However, the Kenosha Guard Page and their Event Page violated our new policy addressing militia organizations and have been removed on that basis,” the company said in a statement.
The Atlantic Council researchers said that 13 hours before the shootings, the Kenosha Guard Facebook page “actively solicited armed individuals to protect neighborhoods that evening."
"At 10:44 a.m. local time, the administrator of the ‘Kenosha Guard’ page asked if any members were willing to ‘take up arms and defend out (sic) City tonight from the evil thugs,'" the researchers said. "They continued, ‘Nondoubt (sic) they are currently planning on the next part of the City to burn tonight!’’’
Ray Roberts, a 38-year-old Black Kenosha resident and Army veteran, said men from “rural areas got in big trucks loaded up with guns and flags and got into town.”
“You would see them driving into town after curfew and cops not stopping them," Roberts said.
Curfew Takes Effect in Antioch
Citing potential unrest related to incidents that have occurred in Kenosha this week, authorities in Antioch have instituted an 8 p.m. curfew for all residents until further notice.
The curfew will last until 7 a.m., and will go back into effect each evening until the order is lifted by city officials.
According to officials, social media posts have indicated potential unrest is being planned in the city.
"As your Mayor, I take my responsibilities very seriously, and none more so than keeping our community safe for all," Antioch Mayor Lawrence Hanson said in a statement. "Throughout today’s recent events, I have remained in constant communication with our police department and Village leadership. Through my discussions with the Chief of Police and Village Administration, I have considered all available information in a deliberate and thoughtful manner in order to lead me to making the best decisions for our Village."
Antioch residents have been on guard since 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with a fatal shooting in Kenosha this week.
Wisconsin Officials Detail Investigative Process as Jacob Blake Shooting Probe Continues
As new information continues to emerge in the police shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha police officer earlier this week, officials are urging the public to be patient, assuring residents that a careful and methodical investigation into the shooting is taking place.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael D. Graveley on Wednesday laid out the steps that will follow in the investigation of the shooting.
Currently, the investigation has been turned over to the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation. By law, all police-involved usage of firearms or any incident that results in the death of an individual during an interaction with police are automatically investigated by the DCI, and that is what is currently occurring with the Blake case.
When the DCI completes its investigation, the evidence is then turned over to the Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office. That office is tasked with determining whether the officers involved in the case committed any crimes, and whether those crimes can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If those standards are both fulfilled, then the DA’s office will file criminal charges, according to Graveley.
“The best way to go about getting justice is to have a full, thorough and vigorous investigation,” Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said.
In laying out the stages of the investigation, the DA emphasized the need for patience on the part of Kenosha citizens, saying that the DCI and the DA’s office must be given adequate time to complete a thorough investigation into the shooting.
“I ask for as much patience as our times allow,” he said. “We have to facilitate a full and complete investigation. I know DCI is doing all they can to accomplish that.”
Kenosha County DA's Office Calls for Civil Rights Investigation In Jacob Blake Shooting
The Kenosha County District Attorney’s Office is calling for a civil rights investigation into the Jacob Blake shooting amid calls for justice and unrest that has gripped the area for several days.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley made the announcement Wednesday evening during a press conference detailing the investigation into the shooting, which took place Sunday evening in Kenosha.
“I’ve called on the U.S. Attorney’s Office to conduct a parallel civil rights investigation,” he said. “I’m hoping it will happen at the same time, because it gives the community a chance to heal quicker.”
The investigation into the shooting itself is currently being handled by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, as required by state law when an officer discharges a firearm. After their investigation is completed, they will turn their findings in to the DA’s office in Kenosha County, and from there Graveley will make the determination of whether to file charges against the officer who shot Blake during the altercation Sunday.
Any civil rights investigation will be conducted concurrently, but separately, from that criminal investigation, and could result in charges in federal court even if charges aren’t pursued at the state level, per statute.
Cubs' Jason Heyward Decides Not to Play Wednesday Following Athlete Protests
Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward decided not to play in Wednesday's game against the Tigers, the club announced before first pitch.
Heyward and manager David Ross spoke and Heyward made a personal choice not to play. Heyward was said to have encouraged his teammates to play after he made his own decision.
Heyward's decision came after the Brewers and Reds agreed not to play their game on Wednesday in protest of police shooting 29-year-old Black man Jacob Blake on Sunday. That followed the Bucks boycotting their playoff game with the Magic, which led the NBA to postponing all three of Wednesday's playoff games.
Heyward is among many prominent athletes across the American sports landscape who spoke out in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing by Minneapolis police in May.
Wisconsin DOJ Reveals New Details Surrounding Jacob Blake's Shooting by Kenosha Police
Authorities on Wednesday released some of the first details surrounding the police shooting of Jacob Blake, which has since sparked nationwide outrage and days of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, police were called to the 2800 block of 40th Street Sunday after a woman said her boyfriend "was present and was not supposed to be on the premises."
Officers arrived at the scene and attempted to arrest 29-year-old Blake, at one point using a Taser in an attempt to stop him, but that attempt was unsuccessful, the DOJ said.
"Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward," a press release from the department read. "While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back. No other officer fired their weapon."
Authorities noted that the Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras, "therefore the officers were not wearing body cameras."
According to the release, Blake admitted to investigators that he did have a knife at the time and a knife was recovered from the driver's side floorboard of his vehicle. No other weapons were found, the report said.
The officers "immediately provided medical aid," the DOJ said, and Blake was taken to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, where he remains.
Officer Sheskey, who has been with the department for seven years, and all others officers involved in the shooting, have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, officials said.
An investigation into the case remains ongoing from the Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, according to authorities. The department aims to provide a report within 30 days, it said.
NBC 5 has not independently verified the information being provided by investigators.
Kenosha Authorities Plan to Hold 1 p.m. Press Conferences 'Until This Thing Passes'
After releasing little information in wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake and the unrest that followed, Kenosha authorities said Wednesday they plan to hold repeated 1 p.m. press conferences.
"Going to do something like every single day," Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said Wednesday, adding that they will continue "until this thing passes."
NBC Chicago will work to offer live streams of those press conferences each day in the player above.
Wisconsin Governor Says Deadly Shooting Was a ‘Senseless Tragedy,' Calls for Peace
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday the shooting that left two people dead and one injured amid unrest in Kenosha the night before was a "senseless tragedy" as he called for protests to remain peaceful and asked anyone not exercising their First Amendment rights to "stay home."
"My heart breaks for the families and loved ones of the two individuals who lost their lives and the individual who was injured last night in Kenosha. We as a state are mourning this tragedy. Kathy and I join the people of Wisconsin in offering our condolences to these individuals, their families, and the Kenosha community," Evers said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
"I want to be very clear: we should not tolerate violence against any person. I’m grateful there has already been swift action to arrest one person involved. The individual or individuals whose actions resulted in this tragic loss of life must be held accountable," Evers continued.
"A senseless tragedy like this cannot happen again," he said. "I again ask those who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights please do so peacefully and safely, as so many did last night. I also ask the individuals who are not there to exercise those rights to please stay home and let local first responders, law enforcement, and members of the Wisconsin National Guard do their jobs."
'Oh Hell No': Kenosha Sheriff Says Vigilante Group Asked Him to Deputize Them
Armed citizens have been taking to the streets of Kenosha during unrest in the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake and some have even asked the county sheriff to deputize them, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said.
Beth, speaking during a press conference Wednesday, said he declined to do so, noting that if he did, those members would become "a liability to me and the county and the state of Wisconsin."
"There's no way. There's no way I would deputize people," he said.
Beth, who said his initial response was "oh hell no," added that such groups don't actually help police.
"Part of the problem with this group is they create confrontation," he said. "People walking around with guns - if I walk in my uniform with a gun all of you probably wouldn't be too intimated by it because you're used to officers having guns, but if I put out my wife with an AR-15 or my brother with a shotgun or whatever it would be walking through the streets you guys would probably wonder what the heck was going on."
Other Kenosha officials agreed.
"I don't need more guns on the street in the community," Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said.
Photos from the scene near Tuesday night's deadly shooting showed what appeared to be multiple citizens armed with weapons as the unrest unfolded. Some stood outside area businesses and others were seen in the streets.
Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel people believed to be in a "militia" or "vigilante group" have been patrolling the streets at night, though it was not clear if Tuesday's gunman was a part of that group.
A group calling itself the "Kenosha Guard" had earlier posted a call on social media asking "Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend [our] City tonight from the evil thugs?" The group wrote in later a post directed at Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis that it had more than 3,000 RSVPs and planned to mobilize Tuesday.
"I ask that you do NOT have your officers tell us to go home under threat of arrest as you have done in the past," the message read. "We are willing to talk to KPD and open a discussion. It is evident, that no matter how many Officers, deputies, and other law enforcement officers that are here, you will still be outnumbered."
The same group released a statement Wednesday saying it did not know if Tuesday's gunman was responding to their call.
"We are unaware if the armed citizen was answering the Kenosha Guard Militia's call to arms," the group wrote. "Just like with the shooting of Jacob Blake, we need all the facts and evidence to come out before we make a judgement."
Beth said he believed the alleged gunman may have been a part of the group, another concern he cited with deputizing such citizens.
"That would have been one deputy sheriff killed two people," Beth said. "The liability that goes with that would have been immense."
Teen Suspect in Kenosha Shooting Taken Into Custody in Illinois, Facing Charges: Police
A teenage suspect in the shooting of multiple people during unrest in Kenosha was taken into custody in Lake County, Illinois, Wednesday and is facing first-degree intentional homicide charges, police confirmed.
Kenosha County authorities issued an arrest warrant for "the individual responsible for the incident, charging him with first degree intentional homicide," officials said Wednesday afternoon.
The suspect was identified as a 17-year-old Antioch resident, who is currently in custody of the Lake County Judicial System pending an extradition hearing to transfer him from Illinois to Wisconsin, according to Antioch police.
The teen is expected to appear in court Friday for an extradition hearing, court records showed. A warrant was issued for his arrest Wednesday and he was taken into police custody shortly after, documents indicated.
Lake County State's Attorney spokesman Lee Filas confirmed that a person by the same name as the suspect appeared in bond court Wednesday morning regarding "being a fugitive from justice from Wisconsin" and was ordered held without bond.
“Our Village of Antioch is deeply saddened by all loss of life. Our hearts and prayers extend to the friends and family who lost a loved one,” Mayor Lawrence Hanson said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
Federal Law Enforcement Will Be Sent to Kenosha Amid Unrest After Police Shooting, Trump Tweets
President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon that federal law enforcement will be sent to Kenosha as unrest continues to grip the Wisconsin city following the police shooting of a Black man on Sunday.
"We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!)..." Trump tweeted.
" ...TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!" he added in a second tweet.
Social Media Videos, Photos Show Deadly Shooting Scene Unfold in Kenosha
Screams could be heard as gunshots rang out in the streets of Kenosha Tuesday night, leaving two people dead and a third hospitalized as protesters appeared to rush an alleged gunman.
Video posted to social media showed shots ringing out in the street before a man is discovered with a gunshot wound to the head. Witnesses are seen carrying that man to a hospital.
In a separate scene, a group of protesters can be heard following a man shouting "Why'd you shoot him."
Later, video taken by a photographer at a nearby scene showed an armed man sitting on the ground with a crowd around him opening fire, shooting another man in the arm. A third man is seen lying on the ground before authorities arrive and carry him away."
Photos that also captured that shooting appeared to show a man kicking the gunman before another man with a skateboard appears to grab the man's weapon. The man with the skateboard appears to be the same one lying on the ground not moving in the video.
Photos: Images Show Traumatic Scene as Gunfire Erupts in Kenosha During Another Night of Unrest
It remains unclear if the gunman was the same gunman from the earlier shooting in which a man was shot in the head.
Kenosha County Board Asks Wisconsin Governor for More National Guard Troops 'Immediately'
Members of the Kenosha County Board, in a letter to Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, requested additional National Guard troops be sent to the area.
"Our county is under attack," the letter read. "Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack. Our local law enforcement agencies need additional support to help bring civility back to our community."
The group asked for 1,500 additional members "with police powers" be sent to the county "immediately."
"Our county is in a state of emergency and we need additional law enforcement to help preserve and save Kenosha County," the letter reads.
The letter also urges Evers to visit and "see firsthand the destruction that has been inflicted on our community."