17-year-old arrested in killing of 2 people in Kenosha

KENOSHA, Wis. — lllinois police have arrested a 17-year-old after two people were shot to death and another was injured during another night of Black Lives Matter protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, was taken into custody Wednesday in Illinois on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide. Antioch is about 15 miles from Kenosha.

Two of the victims shot Tuesday night, a 26-year-old Silver Lake resident and a 36-year-old Kenosha resident, died following the shooting. A 26-year-old West Allis resident suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the shooting.

Videos circulating on social media show a young white man opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.

“I don’t need more guns on the street in the community when we are trying to make sure that we keep people safe. Law enforcement is trained. They are the ones who are responsible. They are the ones we have faith that they’ll do their jobs to make sure it gets done,” Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said. “It would be beneficial and helpful for everyone to realize that.”

Wednesday afternoon, Kenosha Sheriff David Beth, police Chief Dan Miskinis, Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser and Mayor Antaramian gathered for a press conference to discuss the ongoing civil unrest and the shooting that happened Tuesday night.

Police said their investigation is ongoing, but police are working to have Rittenhouse transferred to Wisconsin so he can face criminal charges. According to Lake County, Illinois, court records, Rittenhouse has an extradition hearing scheduled for Friday.

“What I can’t tell you is what led to the disturbance that led to the use of deadly force by this person, and if both deaths are related to the same person,” Miskinis said. “I don’t know that at this point.”

The shooting was met with condemnation from political and community leaders alike.

Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement that he is grateful law enforcement officials have already made an arrest in connection to the killings.

“A senseless tragedy like this cannot happen again. I again ask those who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights please do so peacefully and safely, as so many did last night,” Evers said. “I also ask the individuals who are not there to exercise those rights to please stay home and let local first responders, law enforcement, and members of the Wisconsin National Guard do their jobs.”

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul called for unity following the shooting, saying that anyone involved in violence and destruction is causing division in the community.

“Kenosha residents deserve the opportunity to grieve, come together, peacefully protest, call for change, and heal. The heavily armed vigilantes, arsonists, and other opportunists who have come to Kenosha to attempt to spur chaos have interfered with that and caused drastic harm to people,” Kaul said. “If those engaging in violence and destruction of property believe they are furthering some broader goal, they are wrong. They should leave Kenosha.”

Freedom Inc. a non-profit group based in Madison condemned the shooting in a statement shared Wednesday afternoon and called Rittenhouse a white supremacist.

“These shootings, as well as the presence of white supremacist militias at uprisings for Black lives across the country, are designed to suppress Black people who are rightfully fighting back against generations of murder and exploitation by the state,” the statement reads.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department announced the emergency curfew in Kenosha would start at 7 p.m. each night beginning Wednesday and continuing through Sunday.

The county had previously enacted city curfews, including at 10:15 p.m. Sunday, the day Blake was shot by police. Then at 8 p.m. on Monday night and Tuesday night. The shooting during protests that took place Tuesday night happened after the city’s 8 p.m. curfew.