Teen Charged With Murder in Kenosha Protest Shootings

17-year-old was arrested in Illinois
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2020 2:05 PM CDT
Teen Charged With Murder in Kenosha Protest Shootings
Police in riot gear clear the area in front of Kenosha County Courthouse during clashes with protesters late Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

A 17-year-old from Illinois has been arrested and charged with killing two people during protests in Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday night. Police in Antioch, Ill., say Kyle Rittenhouse—described by the AP as a "police admirer"—was taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide. Court records seen by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel state that Rittenhouse faces a homicide charge in Wisconsin, where the law requires him to be charged as an adult. In an incident captured in graphic video Tuesday night, a person armed with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire in the middle of a Kenosha street. "I just killed somebody," the person said. Witnesses said the gunman walked past police with his rifle over his shoulder as people in the crowd yelled for him to be arrested.

Rittenhouse is believed to have fled to Antioch, 30 miles away, after the Kenosha shooting. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth says one person was shot in the head and another in the chest. A third person suffered non-life-threatening wounds. He said a "militia" of armed vigilantes had been patrolling Kenosha's streets during protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, but it's not clear whether Rittenhouse was among them, the Chicago Tribune reports. Before Tuesday's shooting, a vigilante group calling itself the "Kenosha Guard" posted a call on Facebook for "patriots willing to take up arms and defend out (sic) city tonight from the evil thugs." The AP reports that police were seen Tuesday night handing out bottled water to a group of armed civilians that apparently included the gunman. (More protests stories.)

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