Kenosha, WI – A gunman opened fire inside a Kenosha bar early Sunday morning, killing three men and wounding three more, according to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO).
The incident took place at Somers House Tavern at approximately 12:40 a.m. on April 18, CNN reported.
The gunfire erupted both inside and outside of the bar, according to Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.
The KCSO said two victims died from their wounds at the scene.
Bystanders were able to get a third victim into a car and away from the scene, USA Today reported.
They flagged down a police officer on their way to the hospital, and the officer transported the victim the rest of the way.
The victim died from his wounds inside the patrol car, according to USA Today.
Investigators said the victims who were killed all knew one another, and noted they believe the gunman specifically targeted them, CBS News reported.
“It sounds like one person got removed from the establishment and possibly came back a short time later” and opened fire, Sheriff Beth said, according to CNN. “We don’t believe this was a random act.”
The KCSO said the three additional men who were wounded all remained hospitalized on Sunday evening, CBS News reported.
Investigators said there is possibly a seventh person who was also shot.
Police said they recovered more than one handgun at the scene of the attack.
“Detectives and other involved law enforcement officers have conducted numerous interviews and collected a great deal of evidence from the crime scenes including the impounding of several vehicles,” KCSO Sergeant David Wright told The Washington Post in a statement. “Detectives have followed up on multiple leads and gathered surveillance video evidence during extensive neighborhood canvasses.”
Resident Peter Ploskee, who lives across the street from the tavern, said he saw two people shooting at one another during the incident, The Washington Post reported.
“Two people were almost playing ‘Ring Around the Rosie’ as they were shooting at each other. One guy got shot and ran across the road,” Ploskee told the paper. “He hit the ground, and he passed away in front of the bar. Somebody else died on the patio.”
Patrons then flooded out of the bar crying and screaming as they ran away in every direction, he said.
Police arrived at the scene within five minutes of the first gunshot, Ploskee told The Washington Post.
A person of interest is currently in custody, according to the KCSO.
The Kenosha Police Department (KPD) said that individual will be charged with first-degree intentional homicide, CNN reported.
The suspect was identified on Monday as 24-year-old Rakayo Alandis Vinson, WLS reported.
Vinson pleaded no contest in 2018 to charged of misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon and marijuana possession, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
He was charged with a gun possession offense that same year, but prosecutors dismissed the case.
Investigators have not released the names of the victims, but said all three men who were killed were in their 20s, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The family of Cedrick Gaston told WLS that he was among those killed by the shooter.
Gaston’s family held a vigil on Sunday night, WLS reported.
“He would light up your day no matter what,” Gaston’s girlfriend, Veronica Scalia, told the news outlet. “When he walked into the bar there was smiles, everything.”
The tavern is a popular gathering place for students at Carthage College, which was put on lockdown in the wake of the shooting, CBS reported.
The lockdown has since been lifted.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a statement on Sunday that his “heart breaks for Kenosha,” CNN reported.
“I want to thank the first responders who reacted quickly and are still working to investigate and find those involved in this senseless tragedy,” Evers said.
“Kathy and I join Wisconsinites in hoping and praying those injured will recover from their injuries,” the governor continued. “We are thinking of the families and loved ones affected and the entire Kenosha community as they grieve and grapple with yet another tragic incident of gun violence.”