Reports are still coming out, and the headline writers are being cautious. It appears, however, that last night two people were killed and one seriously wounded by a white supremacist “militia” member supposedly trying to “patrol” the protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake Jr.
“I feel very confident we’ll have him in a very short time,” Beth said.
Shots were fired around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, police said. After the first shots, a young White man carrying a rifle began running north on Sheridan Road, away from a crowd of protesters. Video shows the armed man fall to the ground and then fire multiple rounds into the crowd. Two more people fell to the ground, one shot in the arm and the other in the chest, the Journal Sentinel reported. Another graphic video shows a man with blood running down the back of his neck and bystanders shouting that he had been shot in the head.
WaPo is being cautious and not giving descriptions of anyone. The not-exactly-mainstream media is identifying the shooter as a very white teenager, who may or may not have been affiliated with a white militia group that has been “patrolling” Kenosha this week. But at this point, caution is required. I am not comfortable going any further identifying a perp until we get more solid sourcing.
From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
[Kenosha County Sheriff David] Beth said people who fashion themselves as belonging to a militia have been patrolling Kenosha’s streets in recent nights, but he did not know if the shooter was involved with such a group.
“They’re a militia,” Beth said. “They’re like a vigilante group.”
On Tuesday, a group calling itself the Kenosha Guard, asked members and followers on Facebook to come downtown and be prepared to defend the city.
One post read: “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend out (sic) City tonight from the evil thugs? Nondoubt (sic) they are currently planning on the next part of the City to burn tonight!”
A later post, aimed at the Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, read, in part:
“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. 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.”
A Journal Sentinel reporter earlier in the evening observed a group of armed men with long guns standing guard at a dry cleaning business on Sheridan Road near 59th Street, some on the roof.
Police told them to get off the roof and a person shouted back: “Officer, this is our business.” Police did not ultimately order them off the roof.
Facebook has already taken down a “call to arms” event that asked, “Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend our city tonight from the evil thugs?” The event was also being promoted on InfoWars. And Facebook has also taken down the Kenosha Guard account, or else it has gone private.
Update: The white teenager suspected of the shootings in Kenosha last night has been arrested. This is from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
An Illinois man suspected of killing two people and wounding a third during a third night of protests in Kenosha has been arrested and is now jailed in Lake County, Illinois.
Court records show Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, has been charged there as a fugitive from justice. That document, reviewed by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, said he faces a first-degree intentional homicide charge in Kenosha County.
The warrant referenced in Lake County records is not yet listed in Wisconsin online court records. Law enforcement officials have called a news conference for 1 p.m. today in Kenosha to discuss the overnight incident.
Based on Wisconsin law, Rittenhouse would be charged as an adult.
Update: The last thing Kenosha needs is Trump butting in. If Evers really did accept Trump’s “help,” he’s a fool.
…TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2020
Update: Oddly, there is a report from earlier today saying that Gov. Evers turned down federal help from Trump about Kenosha:
“The governor informed [President Trump and Meadows] we’d be increasing Wisconsin National Guard support in Kenosha and therefore would not need federal assistance in response to protests but would welcome additional federal support and resources for our state’s response to COVID-19,” Britt Cudaback, a spokesperson for the governor, said.
Updated: Now there are reports that Trump has authorized sending up to 2000 National Guard from “neighboring states” to Kenosha to “help.” Nobody is saying which states or if Trump has gone through legal procedures to nationalize the Guard. I somehow doubt that Gov. Pritzger of Illinois or Gov. Whitmer of Michigan would have signed off on sending their Guard to Kenosha, unless they got a request from Gov. Evers, not Trump. And maybe they did get a request from Gov. Evers. Nothing is very clear.