A 17-year-old white male who fired rounds from an AR-15 into a crowd of Black Lives Matter protestors in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing two, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder, the Associated Press reports. The suspect has been ID'd by authorities as Kyle Rittenhouse, CBS News reports, and he is being held on bond.
Rittenhouse was arrested by Illinois state police in Antioch, just fifteen miles from Kenosha, and charged with first degree intentional homicide.
Cell phone video of the incident shows Rittenhouse opening fire with a semi-automatic rifle in the middle of the street crowded with protestors demanding justice for Jacob Blake, a Black man shot seven times in the back by Kenosha police after he attempted to break up a fight between two women.
“I just killed somebody,” Rittenhouse could be heard saying at one point during the shooting rampage that erupted just before midnight on Tuesday (August 25). One victim was shot in the head and the other in the chest, Sheriff David Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A third person suffered gunshot wounds not believed to be life-threatening.
Here is video the shooting [WARNING: graphic content]:
Just prior to the shooting spree, Kenosha police officers were seen on video encouraging Rittenhouse and other vigilantes, who had known connections to white supremacist groups.
In a newly-released video, Rittenhouse (who is carrying his assault rifle the entire time) is seen chatting with law enforcement shortly before the shootout happened. Cops offer Rittenhouse bottled water and one is heard telling him, "Thank you, we appreciate you guys being out here."
Watch the shocking video of the exchange, below:
This is astonishing video. Officers in Kenosha in military vehicles stopped to engage with armed white men, told them they were appreciated and offered them bottles of water. pic.twitter.com/O5lJxwgf3M— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) August 26, 2020
The National Guard was deployed to Kenosha on Sunday night (August 23) after a second night of protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Despite being shot seven times at point-blank range, Blake managed to survive the incident and was taken to an area hospital, where he remains in critical condition. Blake's father told reporters that his son is currently paralyzed from the waist down.
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