Kenosha, WI – Gunfire erupted during violent riots in Kenosha on Tuesday night leaving two people dead and another wounded.
The bloodshed came on the third night of violent riots in the city to protest the shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake at the hands of the Kenosha police, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
There were about 250 law enforcement officers and 250 members of the Wisconsin National Guard on hand in the city on Tuesday night to help quell the rioting.
The shootings occurred at about 11:45 p.m. on Aug. 25 after activists had been pushed out of Civic Center Park and many were wandering up and down Sheridan Road, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
People scattered at the sound of gunshots, and cell phone videos filmed in the crowd showed some people were carrying long guns.
One of the videos showed a man with a long gun running into a parking lot, and then taking off after he sees a man shot in the head on the ground.
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) August 26, 2020
Another video showed what appeared to be the same man running from a crowd of protesters, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
— Crisis Intel 🚨 (@Crisis_Intel) August 26, 2020
He fell to the ground and appeared to open fire on the people who were chasing him.
The man with the long gun appeared to shoot two people from his spot on the ground – one in the torso and one in the arm – before fleeing in the direction of the tactical police vehicles approaching, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Extended footage of the shooting in Kenosha. pic.twitter.com/oBG6UgT0Fs
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) August 26, 2020
It appears he was defending himself from having a molotov cocktail thrown at him, AND shots fired at him from a pursuing crowd, BEFORE he did anything at all. That is what provided video shows so far.
— WIllWallace (@WeBadgers) August 26, 2020
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said authorities did not yet know if there was more than one person shooting in the crowd.
Sheriff Beth said members of a local militia have been patrolling Kenosha’s streets at night but said he did not know if the man with the gun was a member of that group, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Defending yourself/businesses apparently makes you a racist!
— Óðinn (@TheLegitOdin) August 26, 2020
— Drew Hernandez (@livesmattershow) August 26, 2020
On Tuesday, a group called the Kenosha Guard asked on Facebook for its members to come downtown prepared to defend the city.
“Any patriots willing to take up arms and defend out (sic) City tonight from the evil thugs? Nondoubt (sic) they are currently planning on the next part of the City to burn tonight!” the post read, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
“They’re a militia,” Sheriff Beth said. “They’re like a vigilante group.”
A later post from the group appeared to be aimed at Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
“I ask that you do NOT have your officers tell us to go home under threat of arrest as you have done in the past,” the post read. “We are willing to talk to KPD and open a discussion. It is evident, that no matter how many Officers, deputies, and other law enforcement officers that are here, you will still be outnumbered.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported having seen a group of armed men guarding a dry cleaner on Sheridan Road near 59th Street.
KENOSHA: with law enforcement incapable of defending private property
Armed groups have begun protecting the city from rioters
This man claimed they were friends of the business owner & were carrying only lethal rounds
They successful defended the property from the roof pic.twitter.com/zcWJQNnHOr
— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) August 26, 2020
Police told the armed men to get off the roof and someone shouted back that he was protecting his business, so the officers left them alone.
It was unclear whether the men at the dry cleaner were members of a militia or just frightened business owners trying to protect their property, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) August 26, 2020
Another video showed police in riot gear popping out of armored vehicle to share bottles of water with militia members who were standing at a gas station.
Police in Kenosha Wisconsin were giving water to white milita members and saying they "appreciate them being there" while assaulting protestors.
Later in the night, militia members shot protestors. Two people are now dead one in the hospital.
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) August 26, 2020
“We’ve got a couple,” an officer tells the group over the loudspeaker. “We gotta save a couple, but we’ll give you a couple. We appreciate you guys, we really do.”
Many blamed the bloodshed on Tuesday night on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, who refused to supply the number of National Guard that local police said were needed to get things under control.
Local law enforcement in Wisconsin have told the White House they need at least 750 National Guard tonight. Governor Evers is only sending 250. Today, Mark Meadows called the Governor and offered 500 additional guard to meet the police needs.
Governor Evers declined. https://t.co/ceqpDj3W2n
— Ben Williamson (@_WilliamsonBen) August 26, 2020
White House Senior Communications Advisor Ben Williamson said local Kenosha law enforcement said they needed three times as many guardsmen as Evers gave them.
“Local law enforcement in Wisconsin have told the White House they need at least 750 National Guard tonight,” Williamson tweeted. “Governor Evers is only sending 250. Today, Mark Meadows called the Governor and offered 500 additional guard to meet the police needs. Governor Evers declined.”