Authorities have arrested a 17-year-old boy who allegedly shot and killed two protestors during a chaotic evening of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Police in Antioch, Illinois, about 20 miles outside of Kenosha, charged Kyle Rittenhouse with first degree intentional homicide.
Violence in Kenosha
The city has been reeling from days of unrest after white police officers shot and nearly killed Jacob Blake, a Black man. He remains hospitalized, paralyzed from the waist down as a result. While peaceful demonstrations calling for racial justice have filled the streets of Kenosha by day, rioting and violence has erupted at night. Kenosha has also attracted armed counter-protesters.
Officers say that these self-proclaimed militia groups have taken positions in the streets. Armed with AR-15 style rifles, they have stood guard outside of businesses, claiming they’ve come to fill the void of law enforcement. They have clashed with the protesters.
While it is not known whether Rittenhouse was a member of one of these militia groups, he was armed with a rifle and positioned near a gas station with other armed individuals. That’s where the shooting that killed two protestors and wounded a third took place.
Cellphone video shows a young man with a rifle jogging down the road, fleeing from the scene of the shooting.
The official charge against Rittenhouse describes him as a fugitive of the law, who had been charged with homicide in Wisconsin and fled to Illinois “with the intent to avoid prosecution for that offense.”
According to documents from a Wednesday hearing, the teenage suspect was held without bond, pending a Friday hearing, and a potential extradition back to Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers sent his condolences to the families of the victims on Wednesday. “My heart breaks for the families and loved ones of the two individuals who lost their lives and the individual who was injured last night in Kenosha,” Evers said in a statement. “We as a state are mourning this tragedy.”