UPDATED 8/26, 1:22 p.m. ET: 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who had been speculated on social media as the suspect behind Tuesday night's fatal shooting during a protest against police brutality, has now been charged with murder.
Rittenhouse was arrested in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois and charged with first-degree murder, according to Molly Beck of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
See original report below.
The protests began over the weekend after footage began circulating that showed police shooting Jacob Blake Jr. multiple times. Per previously reported witness accounts, Blake was attempting to intervene in an argument between two women when police arrived at the scene.
"We all watched the horrific video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back several times by Kenosha police," prominent civil rights attorney Ben Crump, whose services have been retained by Blake's family, said in a statement earlier this week. "Even worse, his three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets. Their irresponsible, reckless, and inhumane actions nearly cost the life of a man who was simply trying to do the right thing by intervening in a domestic incident. It's a miracle he's still alive."
In a subsequent update, Crump said it would "take a miracle" for Blake to ever walk again. In a news conference on Tuesday, it was announced that the 29-year-old's spinal cord had been severed and his vertebrae shattered.
Protesters, as well as Crump, are now calling for all involved officers to be held accountable for their actions. As protests continue in the area, several outlets were reporting early Wednesday morning that three people had been shot—two fatally—amid the Kenosha protests.
The Kenosha Newssaid that two people are dead and one injured with non-life threatening injuries after an incident Tuesday evening in the area of 63rd Street and Sheridan Road. While the investigation into the shooting is said to be still in progress, with no identities having been officially confirmed, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said early Wednesday morning that both the suspected shooter and one of the people killed were white.
Additionally, at least one man—presumably the same shooter—is described as having used "a long gun" to open fire on protesters. Police, meanwhile, have been documented as using tear gas and rubber bullets during the protests.
A more detailed report from the Associated Press, filed Wednesday afternoon, confirmed some of the speculative reports that had surrounded coverage of the fatal shooting. The shooting is now being described as a "possible vigilante attack" that was carried out by a young white man who was seen in cell phone footage using a semi-automatic rifle. Witnesses, meanwhile, say that the alleged suspect was allowed to walk free in the immediate aftermath of the attack despite alerting nearby police to his presence.
Footage taken during the protests also shows cops expressing their appreciation for armed white militia members on the scene and providing them with bottled water. Social media-shared reports have also stated that the person responsible for Tuesday night's violence has been identified, though this has not been confirmed by authorities.