17-year-old arrested in shooting deaths at Wisconsin protest

File photo: Pixabay/ Ashby C. Sorensen

Aug. 26 (UPI) — Authorities on Wednesday arrested a 17-year-old male they said shot three people, killing two, during overnight protests in Wisconsin, court documents indicate.

Kyle Rittenhouse was charged with being a fugitive from justice and first-degree intentional homicide. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Guardian viewed Lake County court documents that detailed the arrest.

The Journal Sentinel said that under Wisconsin law, he would be charged as an adult.

Police said the shooting occurred in Kenosha just before midnight Tuesday as Black Lives Matter protesters gathered near Civic Center Park to protest the police shooting Sunday of Jacob Blake.

Protests have been going on since, some marred by violence, including fires, vandalism and looting.

On Tuesday, Rittenhouse opened fire using a long gun and struck two people, one in the head and one in the chest, authorities said. The two died from their injuries and a third person was injured in the shooting.

Police initially launched a manhunt for the gunman, who left the scene.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said based on video from the scene, authorities were confident they would find him. Hundreds of police officers and National Guard troops patrolled the area.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon said he planned to send more federal law enforcement officers to Kenosha in response to the protests.

“We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets. My team just got off the phone with Governor [Tony] Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!),” he tweeted.

“TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!”

Trump faced criticism last month for deploying federal officers to cities with ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, such as Portland, Ore., Chicago, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee. Some cities experienced violence and vandalism in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis, Minn., police officer in May,

Some local officials said federal forces weren’t wanted and accused them of fueling violence by clashing with activists, observers and media. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown called the officers an “occupying force” that “brought violence and strife to our community.”

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf defended the deployments before Congress earlier this month, saying federal officers were sent to protect federal buildings and stop violence.

Blake was shot in the back in front of his children. He remains in the hospital and his family said Tuesday he was paralyzed from the waist down.


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