AN­TI­OCH TEEN AR­RESTED IN TWO FA­TAL SHOOT­INGS AMID UNREST

Videos of Tues­day night tur­moil show gun­man open­ing fire on peo­ple with semi-au­to­matic rifle

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - MITCH DUDEK & TOM SCHUBA RE­PORT, PLUS MORE COV­ER­AGE,

KENOSHA, Wis. — Po­lice ar­rested an Illi­nois teenager Wed­nes­day af­ter two peo­ple were shot to death dur­ing an­other night of Black Lives Mat­ter protests in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin.

A law en­force­ment of­fi­cial iden­ti­fied the sus­pect as 17-year-old Kyle Rit­ten­house of An­ti­och.

Com­man­der Nor­man John­son of the An­ti­och Po­lice De­part­ment said the sus­pect was ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of first-de­gree in­ten­tional homi­cide.

An­ti­och is about 15 miles from Kenosha, which has seen three straight nights of unrest since the po­lice shoot­ing of a 29-year-old Black man, Ja­cob Blake.

In an at­tack caught on cell­phone video, two peo­ple were killed Tues­day night when the shooter opened fire in the mid­dle of the street with a semi-au­to­matic rifle.

“I just killed some­body,” a per­son in the video could be heard say­ing at one point dur­ing the shoot­ing ram­page that erupted just be­fore mid­night.

In the wake of the killings, Wis­con­sin Gov. Tony Evers au­tho­rized 500 mem­bers of the Na­tional Guard to sup­port lo­cal law en­force­ment around Kenosha, dou­bling the num­ber of troops sent in.

One vic­tim was shot in the head and the other in the chest, au­thor­i­ties said Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon at a news con­fer­ence in Kenosha.

Both men who were killed were from Wis­con­sin. One was a 26-year-old Sil­ver Lake res­i­dent, iden­ti­fied by fam­ily mem­bers as An­thony Hu­ber; the other, Joseph “Jojo” Rosen­baum, was a 36-year-old man from Kenosha.

A 26-year-old man from West Al­lis, a sub­urb of Mil­wau­kee, also suf­fered a gun­shot wound but is ex­pected to sur­vive.

Kenosha County Sher­iff David Beth said Wed­nes­day it’s pos­si­ble the shooter was part of a group that wanted him to dep­u­tize armed cit­i­zens to help main­tain or­der.

“Yes­ter­day I had a per­son call me and say, ‘Why don’t you dep­u­tize cit­i­zens who have guns to come out and pa­trol the city of Kenosha?’ And I’m like ‘Oh, hell no.’ And what hap­pened last night was prob­a­bly the per­fect rea­son why I wouldn’t,” Beth said.

Beth said he wasn’t sure if the shooter was part of a vig­i­lante group or mili­tia, or if he’d been act­ing on his own.

Cell phone video of at least two of the shoot­ings that was posted on­line shows a young per­son with a 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 male with the gun stum­bles and falls, and as he is ap­proached by peo­ple in the crowd, he fires three or four shots from a seated po­si­tion, hit­ting at least two peo­ple, in­clud­ing one who falls over and an­other who stum­bles away to cries of “Medic! Medic!”

A wit­ness, Julio Rosas, 24, said when the gun­man fell, “two peo­ple jumped onto him, and there was a strug­gle for con­trol of his rifle. At that point dur­ing the strug­gle, he just be­gan to fire mul­ti­ple rounds, and that dis­persed peo­ple near him.”

In the cell­phone footage, as the crowd scat­ters, the gun­man 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 the man had just shot some­one, but sev­eral of the cars drive past him.

Asked why of­fi­cers didn’t take the shooter into cus­tody as he walked to­ward po­lice with his arms raised, Beth said he wasn’t sure but sus­pected the chaotic scene that in­cluded peo­ple run­ning and scream­ing might have given the of­fi­cers “tun­nel vi­sion.”

While it was un­clear what prompted Rit­ten­house to go to Kenosha, an event Tues­day night pro­moted by a group called the Kenosha Guard laid out plans to meet at Civic Cen­ter Park and called for “Armed Cit­i­zens to Pro­tect our Lives and Prop­erty.”

Kevin Matthew­son, a for­mer Kenosha al­der­man, helped or­ga­nize the event.

In the park Tues­day night, Matthew­son told the Sun-Times he and his al­lies were arming them­selves be­cause po­lice were “out­num­bered” a night ear­lier by in­di­vid­u­als who aimed to “de­stroy prop­erty and harm other peo­ple.”

“As long as good cit­i­zens arm them­selves, we’ll never be out­num­bered by the crim­i­nals,” said Matthew­son, adding that he doesn’t be­lieve “car­ry­ing a gun is any type of vig­i­lan­tism.”

He didn’t re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment on Wed­nes­day.

The Kenosha Guard page was ul­ti­mately taken off­line, along with the event. But not be­fore the meet-up gar­nered thou­sands of re­sponses and was pro­moted on the far-right web­site In­fowars and the fringe mes­sage board 4Chan.

Be­fore the shoot­ings, Rit­ten­house told a reporter with the right wing out­let The Blaze that he and the other vig­i­lantes were in Kenosha “pro­tect­ing from the cit­i­zens” and claimed he had been “pep­per-sprayed.” Rit­ten­house then said the armed group wasn’t us­ing “non-lethal” am­mu­ni­tion to guard the area.

In an­other in­ter­view, Rit­ten­house fur­ther tried to ex­plain what he was do­ing in Kenosha.

“Peo­ple are get­ting in­jured, and our job is to pro­tect this busi­ness. And part of my job is to also help peo­ple,” he said. “If there’s some­body hurt, I’m run­ning into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle be­cause I need to pro­tect my­self, ob­vi­ously.”

A video cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia ap­pears to show Rit­ten­house in­ter­act­ing with

“PEO­PLE ARE GET­TING IN­JURED, AND OUR JOB IS TO PRO­TECT THIS BUSI­NESS. AND PART OF MY JOB IS TO ALSO HELP PEO­PLE. IF THERE’S SOME­BODY HURT, I’M RUN­NING INTO HARM’S WAY. THAT’S WHY I HAVE MY RIFLE BE­CAUSE I NEED TO PRO­TECT MY­SELF, OB­VI­OUSLY.”

KYLE RIT­TEN­HOUSE, in an in­ter­view clip posted on­line, be­fore he allegedly shot three peo­ple, killing two

law en­force­ment of­fi­cials in mil­i­ta­rized po­lice ve­hi­cles be­fore Tues­day’s shoot­ing. At one point, an of­fi­cer ap­pears to of­fer bot­tles of wa­ter be­fore oth­ers in the area are warned they’re tres­pass­ing.

As Rit­ten­house goes to re­trieve wa­ter, an of­fi­cer thanks the group he’s with. “We ap­pre­ci­ate you guys,” a voice says over a mega­phone. “We re­ally do.”

Asked why po­lice would have shared wa­ter and seem­ingly en­cour­age the pres­ence of armed vig­i­lantes, Beth said: “Our deputies would toss a wa­ter to any­one.“

As na­tional at­ten­tion turned to Kenosha, the Mil­wau­kee Bucks and Brew­ers can­celed their games af­ter play­ers for both teams de­clined to play. And late Wed­nes­day, the Wis­con­sin De­part­ment of Jus­tice named the Kenosha po­lice of­fi­cer who shot Blake, a fa­ther of six, in the back. Rusten Sh­eskey is a seven-year vet­eran of the force.

The agency also said Blake had a knife in his ve­hi­cle, al­though it did not say whether au­thor­i­ties had de­ter­mined he was reach­ing for it when the po­lice of­fi­cer shot him, the Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal Sen­tinel re­ported.

Shortly be­fore 8 p.m. Wed­nes­day, about 200 pro­test­ers marched in a broad loop around Kenosha, re­turn­ing to the park about an hour later. Govern­ment build­ings re­mained bar­ri­caded, but po­lice were nowhere to be seen.

Ke­juan Gold­smith, who spent much of the march with a bull­horn lead­ing pro­test­ers in chants of “Say his name, Ja­cob Blake” and “No jus­tice, no peace,” said the plan was just to “keep every­body safe.”

“When they shot the tear gas and the rub­ber bul­lets, that’s when the ri­ot­ing started [Tues­day night]. We were out here protest­ing peace­fully, and they de­cided to shoot that tear gas can­is­ter, and it dis­rupted the peace.

“It wasn’t us, we were be­ing peace­ful yes­ter­day, and they de­cided to make the peo­ple who were al­ready an­gry enough even more an­grier. You see tonight? There’s no cops, and there’s no vi­o­lence,” Gold­smith said.

Sher­iff Beth said the city’s cur­few would be moved up from 8 p.m. to 7 p.m. and of­fi­cers, who had largely not en­forced cur­few in pre­vi­ous days, were go­ing to be­gin mak­ing ar­rests Wed­nes­day if peo­ple flaunted the law.

“We are not go­ing to put up with what we saw Mon­day night,” Beth said, re­fer­ring to widespread loot­ing and fires set by ri­ot­ers.

PAT NABONG/SUN-TIMES PHO­TOS

The scene Wed­nes­day near Sheri­dan Road and 63rd Street in Kenosha, Wis­con­sin, where a shooter opened fire on pro­test­ers late Tues­day, killing two and wound­ing an­other.

The sus­pect: Kyle Rit­ten­house, 17

ASHLEE REZIN GAR­CIA/SUN-TIMES

Demon­stra­tors march Wed­nes­day in Kenosha the day af­ter two pro­test­ers were shot and killed on Tues­day night.

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