I wake up most mornings these days and kind of expect to find some kind of riot news. Worst case scenario, I can just look at what’s happening in Portland and find some if I so desire. I don’t, of course. I’m actually kind of sick of all this nonsense. It’s not speeding up the process on police reform and is, in fact, more of a hindrance.
But, I know I’m going to see news about violence and unrest.
I didn’t really expect to see this, though. Not yet, anyway.
Kenosha Police said early Wednesday morning that two people had been shot and killed and a third injured during protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake; authorities were looking for a man armed with a long gun.
Earlier Wednesday, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that one victim had been shot in the head and another in the chest late Tuesday, just before midnight. Beth didn’t know where the other person was shot, but video posted on social media showed someone had been shot in the arm.
The incident occurred at about 11:45 p.m. in the area of 63rd Street and Sheridan Road, Kenosha police said.
The release from the Kenosha Police Department said the injuries to the third individual were not life threatening. The release said the names, ages and cities of residence for the victims were still being determined.
Twitter has been going wild, of course, with plenty of people ready to put the blame for this square on the “Boogaloo” crowd. However, others are claiming the militias present were there to protect the protestors.
I’m inclined to disagree with that last part, mostly because everyone I know who might be gearing up for the boogaloo is condemning the lawlessness of these riots–and yeah, that’s what we’ve seen. Not protests, but riots–and aren’t inclined to protect criminals.
So, what happened?
It’s really too early to get specifics, but there are some indications on at least one of the shootings that it may have been self-defense.
A widely shared video shows a man sprinting into the parking lot of Bert and Rudy’s Auto Service at 63th Street and Sheridan Road, carrying a long gun. Someone pursuing him appears to throw something toward him. Multiple gunshots are heard.
Another video, posted to Twitter by Shelby Talcott of the Daily Caller, shows a gunshot victim lying in the parking lot. The victim, who appears to be the man who had been pursuing the gunman, has been shot in the head. Bystanders were applying pressure to the wound.
In a later video posted by Talcott, bystanders were carrying the victim across Sheridan Road toward the hospital.
Other videos show a man who seems to be the same man wielding a long gun while running north on Sheridan Road, being pursued by people screaming that he shot someone. He falls to the ground and fires the gun at people who seem to be trying to disarm him. While on the ground, he appears to shoot two of them, one in the torso and another in the arm.
The victim who was shot in the arm ran away from the shooter, bleeding heavily and screaming repeatedly that he needed a medic. More gunshots followed. A bystander who was live-streaming helped the victim with tying a tourniquet around his arm.
From the videos that have come to light, it looks like self-defense to me, but that will be for investigators to determine, and it’s important to know what happened before the camera started recording. Based on what we’ve seen elsewhere, though, I have no difficulty imagining a scenario where someone was standing there armed and the mob decided he shouldn’t be allowed to stand there.
Regardless, though, this isn’t likely to help calm matters, particularly if the shooter is found by police to have acted in self-defense. That’s likely to spark off even more rioting, and one reason why I won’t be surprised to see the shooter charged, regardless of what the investigation turns up. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, and that justice is served. If the shooter acted irresponsibly and broke the law, he should be punished for it, but if he acted in self-defense he shouldn’t become a sacrifice to the voracious appetite of the mob.
Needless to say, there’s a lot of information coming and going as of my writing this and this is, by no means, a complete account. This is a story I intend to be keeping an eye on going forward.