The name of Jacob Blake's shooter has been released.
According to the Associated Press, the Wisconsin Department of Justice has identified Rusten Sheskey as the Kenosha police officer who shot Blake during an attempted arrest on Aug. 23. The 29-year-old sustained seven gunshot wounds in his back and is now reportedly paralyzed.
Wisconsin State Attorney General Josh Kaul told reporters Sheskey—a seven-year veteran of the force—was placed on administrative leave along with all other involved officers. Kaul said the incident began when officers responded to a call from a woman who said her boyfriend was at her residence but was not supposed to be on the premises.
"During the incident, officers attempted to arrest Jacob S. Blake, age 29. Law enforcement deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake, however the taser was not successful in stopping Mr. Blake," Kaul said. "Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward. While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon seven times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back."
Kaul said no other officer fired their weapon. He also pointed out that the Kenosha Police Department does not use body cameras.
The Attorney General went on to say that Blake admitted to having a knife in his possession at the time officers arrived on the scene. He said authorities discovered a knife on the floorboard of Blake's vehicle, but no other weapons were found. An attorney for Blake's family denied the reports of a knife inside Blake's car.
"In the vehicle he did not have a weapon," attorney Patrick Salvi Jr. said Wednesday, according to CNN. "I can't speak directly to what he owned, but what I can say is his three children were in the car and that was in the front of his mind. That is the most important thing to him in his life: his family and his children."
Kaul said the investigation is ongoing, and is being assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office. Later on Wednesday, Matthew D. Krueger, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and Eric S. Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, confirmed what Kaul said, and added that the investigation will be "overseen by prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division."
In 2019, Sheskey spoke to Kenosha News about his role in the Kenosha Police Department's bike unit and explained what he liked the most about his job.
"What I like most is that you’re dealing with people on perhaps the worst day of their lives and you can try and help them as much as you can and make that day a little bit better," he said. "And that, for the most part, people trust us to do that for them. And it’s a huge responsibility, and I really like trying to help the people. We may not be able to make a situation right, or better, but we can maybe make it a little easier for them to handle during that time."