The small, Midwestern town of Kenosha, Wisconsin moved from a battleground toward a war zone last night. Scores of local residents tooled up open-carry style to protect their homes and businesses from rabid mobs intent on burning, looting and murdering their way through town.
Maybe the rioters didn’t expected locals in a town of 100,000 to take up arms. They were wrong. Kenosha had its own version of rooftop Koreans.
Multiple armed men are on the roof of one of the car lots that was burned in Kenosha, WI: pic.twitter.com/J0Bw4HFNUL
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) August 26, 2020
An increasing number of Kenoshans had seen enough from the first two nights or rioting. By the time the night twas over, two rioters were dead and another was seriously wounded.
[WARNING: This video is extremely graphic]
@GovEvers, and all other Democrat governors, this is why you need to staff riots properly. RT @Julio_Rosas11: Here’s video of the man’s wounds, I recorded him being shot in Kenosha. His right arm is badly damaged. Credit: @ louriealex (instagram) pic.twitter.com/2KZxpG75vX
— wernet (@wernet) August 26, 2020
There’s video of one reportedly “revolutionary” looter who took a round to the head while trying to loot a car shop. It didn’t go well for him.
There’s mildly graphic video below. Note how all of the peaceful protesters demonstrating against police violence were shouting “call the police!” after their comrade was shot.
BREAKING they shot someone in the head at the #KENOSHA riot RIGHT NOW
I repeat someone has been shot in what appears to be the head while looting a car shop
I can not confirm the exact wound location but he’s white and losing a lot of blood
I will update who shot him! pic.twitter.com/xZ6v5mpI82
— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) August 26, 2020
This could have been the video taken as the shots rang out.
— wlctv.ca (@wlctv_ca) August 26, 2020
The head-shot looter’s comrades rushed him to the hospital.
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) August 26, 2020
In another incident, a mob chased after a lone good guy armed with a rifle. The rifleman showed remarkable restraint as he tried to flee the angry horde that intent on beating him to a pulp.
When he tripped or was knocked down, the mob tried to swarm him. He started shooting and, like magic, the mob receded…almost like Moses parting the Red Sea.
A minute later, another good guy armed with a rifle appeared and applied a tourniquet to the seriously wounded man before police arrived. The rifleman didn’t leave his rifle on the ground, which caused tense moments for responding cops rolling up on scene.
Caution, video is NSFW and quite graphic.
🚨🚨🚨: Multiple gunshots are fired after people chased a guy with a rifle. Rifle dude tripped and fell. He fired his gun at a guy who jumped on top of him. pic.twitter.com/BfV244MMnc
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) August 26, 2020
This video from Kenosha is INSANE. Man with a rifle falls down, appears to get attacked and fires several shots. I’ve never seen anything like this during a riot.
Why won’t the media cover this? Where are the police? How is this happening in the USA? pic.twitter.com/DT1kmdGjCZ
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) August 26, 2020
More from the AP:
Two people were killed and another was wounded as shots were fired late Tuesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the third night of unrest following the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.
The shootings were reported at about 11:45 p.m. in an area where protests have taken place, Kenosha police Lt. Joseph Nosalik said in a news release. They happened after police drove away protesters from in front of a courthouse that had been the site of the main clashes between protesters and authorities.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said one victim was shot in the head and another was shot in the chest, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Beth didn’t know where the other person was shot, but that person’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.
Beth told the Journal Sentinel that armed people had been patrolling the city’s streets in recent nights, but he did not know if the shooter was among them.
“They’re a militia,” Beth said. “They’re like a vigilante group.”
He said authorities didn’t detain anyone over the shootings, but that investigators had reviewed video of what happened and that he was confident a man would be arrested soon.
Cellphone video of at least two of the shootings that was posted online shows what appears to be a white man with a semi-automatic rifle jogging down the middle of a street as a crowd and some police officers follow him. Someone in the crowd can be heard asking “What did he do?” and another person responds that the man had shot someone.
The man with the gun stumbles and falls, and as he’s approached by people in the crowd, he fires three or four shots from the seated position, hitting at least two people, including one who falls over and another who stumbles away to frantic shouts of “Medic! Medic!”
With the crowd scattering, the shooter stands up and continues walking down the street as police cars arrive. The man puts up his hands and walks toward the squad cars, with someone in the crowd yelling at police that the man had just shot someone, but several of the cars drive past him toward the people who had been shot.
Protester Devin Scott told the Chicago Tribune that he witnessed one of the shootings.
“We were all chanting ‘Black lives matter’ at the gas station and then we heard, boom, boom, and I told my friend, that’s not fireworks,” said Scott, 19. “And then this guy with this huge gun runs by us in the middle of the street and people are yelling, ‘He shot someone! He shot someone!’ And everyone is trying to fight the guy, chasing him and then he started shooting again.”
“I was cradling him in my arms. I was trying to keep this kid alive and he wasn’t moving or nothing. He was just laying there,” Scott said. “I didn’t know what to do and then this woman starts performing CPR. There was no pulse. I don’t think he made it.”
The shooting victims have not been identified.
At a news conference earlier Tuesday, Ben Crump, the lawyer for Blake’s family, said Blake was shot multiple times by police on Sunday and that it would “take a miracle” for him to walk again. He called for the officer who opened fire to be arrested and for the others who were involved to lose their jobs.
The shooting of Blake — apparently while three of his children looked on — was captured on cellphone video and ignited new protests over racial injustice in several cities, coming just three months after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police touched off a wider reckoning on race.
Earlier Tuesday, Blake’s father spoke alongside other family members and lawyers, telling reporters that police shot his son “seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter.”
“But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters,” said Blake’s father, who is also named Jacob Blake.
The 29-year-old was in surgery Tuesday, said attorney Ben Crump, adding that the bullets severed Blake’s spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae. Another attorney said there was also severe damage to organs.
“It’s going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr. to ever walk again,” Crump said.
When asked what the police response to the family has been, the family’s lawyer said, “At this point, it seems to be a one-way street. They only want to get information from the family and the friends who were there that day. But they have offered this family no answers whatsoever.”
Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, told CBS “This Morning” in an interview that aired Wednesday that she feels like she’s in a “bad dream” and that it felt “unreal” that her son’s name has been added to the list of Black people who were shot by police.
“Never in a million years did I think we would be here in this place. Him being alive is just a miracle in itself.”
The family’s legal team plans to file a 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 officers involved have not been named. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating.
Police fired tear gas for a third night Tuesday to disperse protesters who had gathered outside Kenosha’s courthouse, where some shook a protective fence and threw water bottles and fireworks at officers lined up behind it. Police then used armored vehicles and officers with shields pushed back the crowd when protesters ignored warnings to leave a nearby park.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers had called for calm Tuesday, while also declaring a state of emergency under which he doubled the National Guard deployment in Kenosha from 125 to 250. The night before crowds destroyed dozens of buildings and set more than 30 fires in the city’s downtown.
“We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue,” said Evers, who is facing mounting pressure from Republicans over his handling of the unrest. “We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction.”
Three of the younger Blake’s sons — aged 3, 5 and 8 — were in the car at the time of the shooting, Crump said. It was the 8-year-old’s birthday, he added.
The man who said he made the cellphone video of the shooting, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.
In the footage, Blake walks from the sidewalk around the front of his SUV to his driver-side door as officers follow him with their guns drawn and shout at him. As Blake opens the door and leans into the SUV, an officer grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire. Seven shots can be heard, though it isn’t clear how many struck Blake or how many officers fired.
Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son had eight holes in his body.
Anger over the shooting has spilled into the streets of Kenosha and other cities, including Los Angeles, Wisconsin’s capital of Madison and in Minneapolis, the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer following Floyd’s death.
Hundreds of people again defied curfew Tuesday in Kenosha, where destruction marred protests the previous night as fires were set and businesses vandalized. There were 34 fires associated with that unrest, with 30 businesses destroyed or damaged along with an unknown number of residences, Kenosha Fire Chief Charles Leipzig told the Kenosha News.
“Nobody deserves this,” said Pat Oertle, owner of Computer Adventure, surveying the damage on Tuesday. Computers were stolen, and the store was “destroyed,” she said.
“This accomplishes nothing,” Oertle said. “This is not justice that they’re looking for.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, both Republicans, called on the governor to do more to quell the unrest. Steil said he would request federal assistance if necessary.
Evers continued to call for protesters to be peaceful.
“Please do not allow the actions of a few distract us from the work we must do together to demand justice, equity, and accountability,” he said.
Blake’s family also called for calm.
“I really ask you and encourage everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your hearts,” Blake’s mother said. “Do Jacob justice on this level and examine your hearts. … 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.”