Antioch is about 15 miles from Kenosha, which has seen three consecutive nights of unrest since the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.
Two people were killed Tuesday night in a possible vigilante attack led by a young white man who was caught on cell phone video opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.
THIS IS A BRIEF UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.
Two people were shot dead during another night of Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha in a possible vigilante attack led by a young white man who was surprised by a video on a cell phone opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.
“I just killed someone,” he heard her say at one point on Tuesday night.
Sheriff David Beth said investigators have reviewed the footage and is confident a suspect will be arrested soon.
The gunfire erupted just before midnight, during the third straight night of unrest in Kenosha following the shooting by police of a black man, Jacob Blake.
“We were all singing ‘Black Lives Count’ at the gas station and then we heard, boom, boom, and I said to my friend, ‘This isn’t fireworks,’ said the 19-year-old protester Devin Scott at the Chicago Tribune. And then this guy with that huge gun walks past us in the middle of the street and people are shouting, “He shot someone!” He shot someone! And everyone’s trying to fight the guy, chase him down, and then he started shooting again. ”
Scott said he cradled a lifeless victim in his arms and a woman started performing CPR, but “I don’t think he got there.”
One victim was shot in the head and the other in the chest, the sheriff told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A third person suffered gunshot wounds that were not believed to be life-threatening.
According to testimonies and video footage, police apparently let the young man responsible for the shooting walk past them with a gun over his shoulder as members of the crowd shouted for him to be arrested for shooting. on people.
The sheriff told the Sentinel Journal that armed people have been patrolling the city streets in recent nights, but he is not sure if the shooter was one of them.
“It’s a militia,” Beth said. “They are like a group of vigilantes. ”
The FBI said it was helping in the case.
Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, who is black, said in an interview with the “Democracy Now!” News show. That the shootings were not surprising and that the white militias have been ignored for too long.
“How many times across this country do you see gunmen demonstrating, entering state capitol buildings, and everyone thinks it’s okay? Barnes said. “People see it as some kind of normal activity where people walk around with assault rifles. ”
Testimonies and videos show that the shootings took place in two stages: first the gunman shot someone in a parking lot, then walked away, tripped and fell in the street, and reopened the fire as members of the crowd closed in on him.
A witness, Julio Rosas, 24, said that when the gunman tripped, “two people jumped on him and there was a struggle for control of his rifle. At this point in the fight he just started shooting several times and it scattered the people. near him. ”
“The rifle was rocked in all directions as it fired,” Rosas said.
Sam Dirks, 22, of Milwaukee, said he saw the suspect armed earlier in the evening and was yelling at some of the protesters.
“He was really, really agitated. He was pacing up and down, simply pointing his gun in general. Not necessarily to anyone in particular, ”Dirks said.
In another widely disseminated video, police can be seen throwing bottled water from an armored vehicle at what appear to be armed civilians marching through the streets. One of the civilians appears to be the gunman who later shot the protesters down.
“We appreciate your presence here,” hears an officer say to the group over a loudspeaker.
In Wisconsin, it is legal for people 18 and over to openly carry a firearm, without a license required.
At a press conference earlier Tuesday, Ben Crump, lawyer for Blake’s family, said it “would take a miracle” for Blake, 29, to walk again. He demanded that the officer who opened fire be arrested and that others involved lose their jobs.
Blake was shot, apparently in the back, on Sunday as he leaned into his SUV, three of his children sitting inside.
Kenosha police said little about what happened other than responding to a domestic conflict. They did not say why the officers opened fire or if Blake was armed, and they did not disclose the race of three officers at the scene.
The shooting was filmed on a cell phone and sparked further protests in the United States three months after George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis cop, which sparked a nationwide toll of racial injustice.
Blake’s father, also named Jacob Blake, said 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, ”he says.
In the latest wave of unrest on Tuesday, police fired tear gas for the third night in a row to disperse protesters outside the Kenosha courthouse, where some shook a protective fence and threw water bottles and water bottles. fireworks over the police. On Monday evening, crowds destroyed dozens of buildings and set more than 30 fires in the city center.
Before the two deadly shootings, Kenosha County Council on Tuesday sent a letter to Democratic Governor Tony Evers asking for at least 2,000 more National Guard troops to be dispatched. Evers initially sent 150 troops on Monday and increased that number to 250 on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the council sent in a new request, for 1,500.
“Our county is under attack. Our businesses are under attack. Our homes are under attack. Our local law enforcement needs additional support to help bring civility back to our community, ”council leaders wrote.
Evers did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
Bauer reported from Madison, Wisconsin. Associated Press reporters Todd Richmond in Madison, Wisconsin, Gretchen Ehlke in Milwaukee, Jeff Baenen and Amy Forliti in Minneapolis, Don Babwin in Chicago and Tammy Webber in Fenton, Mich., Contributed, as did news researcher Rhonda Shafner. At New York.