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KENOSHA, WI – A 17-year-old Antioch teen was arrested for shooting three people – one person in the head, one in the stomach and another in the arm – in a shooting during a riot.
Kyle Rittenhouse called himself a member of the militia and openly carried a rifle during the riot. Just before the shooting, he told citizen journalist Richie McGinniss on camera that he was there to protect businesses and help people injured during the riot.
Later, a video showed Rittenhouse in a confrontation with a person involved in the riot near a car lot. As he ran away, a small crowd of people is seen chasing after him. Shooting two more people, Rittenhouse opened fire into the crowd.
A 26-year-old Silver Lake man and 36-year-old Kenosha resident died Wednesday during the riot. A 26-year-old West Allis resident was also injured, but he is expected to survive, said Kenosha Police Chief Dan Miskinis during a press conference.
“This is not a police action,” he said. “This is not the action I believe of those who set out to do protests. It is the persons who are involved in illegal activity that brought violence to this community.”
Investigators are still following up on leads.
The Kenosha County District Attorney has not issued formal charges.
Questions raised about curfew enforcement for militia
Miskinis answered questions around the presence of people open carrying guns to help protect businesses during the riot.
In Wisconsin, people 18-years and older can open carry a loaded weapon in public without a permit or a license. Open carry means a person can carry a gun in plain view while in public.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, carried a rifle openly in the street during the riots. but a video shows that law enforcement officials never asked him his age when they had contact with them. At one point, a driver of one of the tactical vehicles gave Rittenhouse water and said he really appreciated their presence. Another law enforcement official ordered Rittenhouse to leave because he was a civilian and breaking curfew.
A number of people rioting also openly carried guns. When asked if he wanted militia there, Miskinis said he didn’t want violence regardless of which side of the issue people were on.
“So showing up with firearms doesn’t do us any good,” he said. “I’ve got no proof that it has any organization to maybe just simply armed citizens. I don’t know. So it’s no different than those on the protester side, who are walking around armed and those who are counter protesters or those who are just witnessing to be armed.”
But one of the armed civilians protecting businesses told a person on a video that law enforcement officials would push the rioters toward them so that “could deal with them,” and leave.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth explained the need to protect the Kenosha County Courthouse and the Public Safety building, which sustained about $300,000 in damage. To help protect it, they put a fence up.
“Last night with a fence up, we were much more assertive in the way we handled things. Shortly after eight o’clock curfew and into effect at eight o’clock, we moved out an armored car and we basically said you need to leave curfews eight o’clock you’re in violation of the curfew,” he said.
People rioting continued to taunt law enforcement, burn vehicles, and burn buildings.
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Kenosha County Sheriff curfew set
By Denise Lockwood
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told reporters during a press conference that a 7 p.m. curfew to 7 a.m. is being put into place starting Wednesday.
Officials expect it to continue through at least Sunday.
The decision to institute the curfew was made to curb rioting, which has been happening during the evening. the curfew applies to areas east of Interstate 94.
“And it might continue afterwards,” Beth said. “It might get finished before it as far as this point. For those that that this puts a hardship on, I’m sorry, I really really am. But it’s something we have to do.”
Evers calls for additional troops
By Paul Holley
Gov. Tony Evers authorized 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard to support local
law enforcement in Kenosha County Wednesday evening.
The troops will be in addition to the 250 National Guard members who were ordered to Kenosha on Tuesday.
“The governor is continuing to work with other states in facilitating additional National Guard and state patrol support,” according to a news release.
On Monday, at the request of local officials, the Governor announced he authorized the Wisconsin National Guard “to help protect critical infrastructure and assist in maintaining public safety and the ability of individuals to peacefully protest in Kenosha County.” Evers authorized 125 National Guard troops on Monday. On Tuesday, he declared a state of emergency and doubled the number of troops sent to Kenosha.
Citing Wisconsin state law, the governor’s office stated that the Guard members called to active
duty may only be used to provide support to local law enforcement and local first responders and to protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community.
“The Wisconsin National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on this situation,” the governor’s
In a letter to Evers, Sen. Van Wanggaard (R-Racine) pushed Evers to ask for 1,500 National Guard units. He also admonished Evers for refusing assistance.
“If your spokesperson’s statement about your refusal of federal assistance is accurate, it is disgusting and insulting. Asking for resources for COVID, but refusing assistance for Kenosha is unconscionable and a slap in the face to every resident of Kenosha. When your house is on fire, you do not refuse your neighbor’s hose to help douse the flames because you are also hungry.”
Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, of the Wisconsin National Guard, said that units have been on the ground in Kenosha since Monday evening to support and assist law enforcement.
By Wednesday afternoon, Evers spoke to President Donald Trump to fulfill his request.
“The Wisconsin National Guard is fully engaged to serve and protect the citizens of Wisconsin on this very important mission,” he said.
The FBI, U.S. Marshals, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobaco and Firearms have also assisted during the riots. Added resources from the National Guard will also assist local and state law enforcement.