One police officer fired all seven shots that hit Jacob Blake in the back, law enforcement officials announced Wednesday. They also named the officer and said the results of their investigation will be turned over to a prosecutor.
The description of the shooting by the Wisconsin Department of Justice is the first official accounting of what happened in the Sunday shooting in Kenosha that has since spawned nightly protests and public outrage.
Authorities identified the officer as Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department. Sheskey fired his weapon seven times into Blake’s back as Blake leaned into his car. No other officer at the scene fired a weapon.
Blake was also tased, according to DOJ.
The account said Blake told officers he had a knife in his possession, although it is unclear whether Sheskey knew of the knife when he pulled the trigger of his gun.
Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations officers found a knife in the driver-side floorboard of Blake’s car and no other weapons were recovered, according to Wisconsin officials. The department’s statement does not say if Blake threatened the officer with the knife.
Earlier in the day, a 17-year-old suspected of fatally shooting two people and wounding a third in Kenosha, Wisconsin, has been arrested as protests over police brutality and the shooting of Jacob Blake continue to rock the city and the country.
Court records show Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, faces a first-degree intentional homicide charge in Kenosha County. He is now jailed in Lake County, Illinois, and has been charged there as a fugitive from justice. He will appear for extradition hearing on Friday.
Based on Wisconsin law, Rittenhouse would be charged as an adult.
For three nights, violent protests have torn through Kenosha after a police officer shot Blake from behind at close range while he was getting in a vehicle. Buildings have been burned, windows smashed out and stores looted.
Anger over the shooting has spilled into the streets of other cities, including Los Angeles and Minneapolis, the epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer following George Floyd’s death.
On Wednesday evening, protests had historic implications for the sports world as NBA playoff games were postponed after the Milwaukee Bucks didn’t take the floor for Wednesday’s playoff game against the Orlando Magic. Standing in solidarity with the Bucks, Major League Baseball’s Brewers decided not to play Wednesday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
DOJ releases its timeline of events
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the Kenosha Police Department was called out to a residence “after a female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.”
Officers tried to arrest Blake, deploying a Taser, which was unsuccessful in stopping Blake. 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 7 times,” DOJ said in a statement. “Officer Sheskey fired the weapon into Mr. Blake’s back. No other officer fired their weapon. Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras, therefore the officers were not wearing body cameras.”
DOJ said during the investigation following the initial incident, Blake told officers he had a knife. The knife was found in the driver’s side floorboard of Blake’s car and no other weapons were found.
“When DCI is the lead investigating agency of a shooting involving a law enforcement officer, DCI aims to provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days,” DOJ said in a statement.
“The prosecutor then reviews the report and makes a determination about what charges, if any, are appropriate. If the prosecutor determines there is no basis for prosecution of the law enforcement officer, DCI will thereafter make the report available to the public.”