Law & the Courts

Illinois Juvenile Arrested, Charged with First-Degree Murder for Kenosha Riot Shooting

People gather outside the Kenosha County Courthouse after a black man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot by police in Kenosha, Wis., August 25, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Reuters)

A juvenile was arrested after allegedly shooting three individuals amid riots in Kenosha, Wisc., which began after police shot a black man while attempting to take him into custody.

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was charged with first-degree homicide stemming from the Tuesday night incident. Rittenhouse allegedly shot and killed two demonstrators and injured a third, and was arrested in his hometown of Antioch, Ill., about 20 miles from Kenosha.

“This morning Kenosha County authorities issued an arrest warrant for the individual responsible for the incident,” Antioch police said in a statement. “The suspect in this incident, a 17-year-old Antioch resident, Kyle Rittenhouse, is currently in custody of the Lake County Judicial System pending an extradition hearing to transfer custody from Illinois to Wisconsin.”

Rioters in Kenosha have destroyed or damaged dozens of local businesses, and clashes have erupted between rioters and armed citizens attempting to guard local property. Reporters from the Daily Caller captured footage of the shooting incident on Tuesday, with one reporter attempting to treat a man with a head wound, who later died.

In the video, Rittenhouse can be seen standing near the wounded man and can be heard saying, “I just killed somebody.” A subsequent video captures Rittenhouse running down the street being chased by a group of men before falling to the ground and opening fire on his pursuers, hitting at least two men, one in the chest and another, who was holding a pistol, in the arm.

In the wake of the riots, Wisconsin governor Tony Evers on Wednesday authorized the deployment of additional National Guard troops to the city.

Evers “authorized 500 members of the Wisconsin National Guard to support local law enforcement in Kenosha County this evening,” the governor’s office said in a statement. “The governor is continuing to work with other states in facilitating additional National Guard and state patrol support.”

President Trump, who had offered federal assistance to contain the riots, wrote on Twitter, “My team just got off the phone with Governor Evers who agreed to accept federal assistance (Portland should do the same!). TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!”

The riots follow the death of Jacob Blake, who was shot by Kenosha police officers during the attempt to arrest him. At a Wednesday press conference, Kenosha police chief Daniel Miskinis said that a Wisconsin statute mandates that the state Justice Department investigate police shootings, which was why he did not have any details about the probe into Blake’s shooting.

Wisconsin lawmakers have pleaded for demonstrators to engage in peaceful protests following the shooting.

“The vandalism, armed militia, gun violence and fatal shootings in Kenosha are not advancing the cause of racial justice in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake,” Senator Tammy Baldwin (D., Wisc.) said on Wednesday.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is also a violist, and has served in the Israeli Defense Forces.


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