Two people were killed and another was injured as a gun battle broke out on the third night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin last night.
Footage showed gunshots ringing out amid a scuffle in the street while bystanders screamed and fled in terror, with one person shot in the head and another one hit in the chest.
Panic broke out as one man lay in agony ‘losing a lot of blood’ after he was shot in the head, with onlookers desperately trying to stem the wound and yelling that ‘we’ve got to keep him alive’.
Another man was helped to his feet by cops after bleeding heavily from a gunshot wound to his arm as law enforcement vehicles approached.
Three people were shot and two of them were killed, police confirmed in the early hours of this morning – but it is not clear which victims died or who fired the fatal shots.
The gunfire broke out after crowds chased a man with a rifle down the street, believing he had shot another man, before one pursuer took a flying kick at him and another tried to grab his weapon.
Police are hunting for a man with a long gun and fear that the shooting stemmed from a conflict between ‘self-styled militias’ and demonstrators voicing anger at the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Blake is in hospital after being shot multiple times by a white Kenosha cop on Sunday, prompting a wave of protests which continued despite a curfew last night.
An armed man (on the ground) scuffles with a man with a skateboard (standing over him) who is about to be shot in the chest
One pursuer took a flying kick at the armed man after he fell to the ground following a pursuit in the streets of Kenosha
The man shot in the chest clutches his body in agony while another man pleads with the gunman not to shoot
The armed man got back to his feet while the injured man lay on the ground and bystanders screamed and ran in terror
The man was later helped to his feet by cops after bleeding heavily from a gunshot wound to his arm as law enforcement vehicles approached
One man lay in agony ‘losing a lot of blood’ after he was shot in the head, with onlookers desperately trying to stem the wound and yelling that ‘we’ve got to keep him alive’
A man was shot in the arm as clashes between protesters and armed civilians who protect the streets of Kenosha against the arson during the third day of protests over the shooting of a black man Jacob Blake by police officer in Wisconsin, United States this morning
Armed civilians stand in the streets of Kenosha to protect the area against the arson during third day of protests over the shooting of a black man Jacob Blake by police officer in Wisconsin, United States this morning
A crowd of protesters continue their demonstrations in Wisconsin last night after the governor declared a state of emergency
One video in the aftermath of the shooting shows a stricken victim lying between parked cars with an apparent gunshot wound to the head, while a crowd of people rush to his aid.
One bystander took off his shirt to stop the bleeding, but had trouble finding the wound, until other people came to help.
‘Put pressure, put pressure,’ one person said. ‘You shot him?’ someone asked. ‘I didn’t,’ came the response.
Others implored the wounded man to keep his eyes open and told him he would be OK. ‘You’ve got to keep him alive,’ someone cried.
As well as the two people killed, a third person was taken to hospital with ‘serious but non-life threatening injuries’, according to the Kenosha police department.
Several civilians were carrying weapons during the protests on Tuesday night with little police presence in the city aside from the courthouse which was being guarded by the Kenosha County sheriff.
The so-called militias have had weapons slung over their shoulders or at the ready while standing guard outside businesses to protect them from looters or arsonists.’
‘They’re like a vigilante group,’ sheriff Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, though he said he was unsure if the man at the center of the outburst was linked to such a group.
Beth said the shooter had not been arrested but said he was ‘confident we’ll have him in a very short time’ based on video footage seen by police.
The investigation of the latest shooting is being conducted by the Kenosha Police Department with the assistance of the FBI, Beth said.
The New York Times reported police were investigating whether the Tuesday night’s shooting ‘stemmed from a conflict between self-styled militias guarding a gas station and demonstrators.’
Police in riot gear clear a park during clashes with protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse late Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis
Protesters were seen hurling water bottles, bricks, firecrackers and other objects back at police as they fired rubber bullets and tears gas towards the crowds
Law enforcement pleaded with people to leave the area through loud speakers on armored vehicles while delivering a constant barrage of less lethal munitions and tear gas against a hostile crowd which kept up a return fire of lasers, debris, rocks, bottles and explosive devices as the cops moved to push the crowd
People, including members of the press, were seen running away as police fired tear gas towards the crowds
Chaos rocks Kenosha for a third night: Protests defied curfew and gathered outside the county courthouse on Tuesday night, clashing with police
Demonstrators were seen trying to topple over a black fence that was installed around the court earlier as officials braced for another night of destruction
Protesters gathered outside wearing helmets and masks, and some held makeshift shields as they prepared to face off with police
A man stood in front of law enforcement officers as they braced for a clash against protesters
A woman was seen shouting and flipping off police during the protest outside the courthouse on Tuesday
Before the gunfire, police in riot gear fired rubber bullets, tear gas and flash-bang rounds to push back demonstrators who defied a dawn-to-dusk curfew and gathered outside a courthouse and adjacent park.
About 300 demonstrators defied the city’s 8pm curfew again after Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency earlier following a night of violence and destruction that saw rioters set fire to businesses and vehicles across the city.
The shooting of Blake comes three months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis which sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department also deployed at least four armored patrol vehicles fitted with roof turrets from which deputies fired tear gas canisters into the crowd, many of whom hurled water bottles, bricks, firecrackers and other objects back at police.
But there was no immediate sign of buildings or cars being set ablaze, as happened on Monday night.
Demonstrators, some of whom were wearing helmets and equipped with makeshift protective gear, were seen trying to storm a black iron fence that had been installed earlier to protect the court from rioters.
Meanwhile, officers dressed in riot gear stood guard behind the barrier, holding up shields as protesters shouted expletives and hurled bottles at them.
Footage from the scene also showed people throwing fireworks in the direction of cops as they ignored their orders to disperse.
In one video shared by a journalist on Twitter, one man was seen trying to set fire to an American flag before being deterred by pepperballs fired by police.
A protester is seen tossing an object toward police as cops deployed tear gas and other crowd control munitions
Protesters took cover behind a trash bin as police fired tear gas and armored vehicles moved to the outside of the iron fence in front of the court
People were seen using umbrellas and plastic shields to protect themselves from tear gas and rubber bullets
A protester shielded himself with an umbrella and took cover behind a dumpster during clashes outside the Kenosha County Courthouse
Members of the crowd came armed with makeshift protective gear ahead of Tuesday’s night skirmish
A law enforcement officer was seen emerging from the hatch of an armored vehicle to fire rubber bullets at protesters after they ignored orders to clear the area
Flares are seen near a Kenosha County Sheriff vehicle during the protests on Tuesday night
An explosive device detonates as a protester pushes back on an armored vehicle clearing the nearby park where crowds had gathered
Kenosha County sheriffs deputies warned crowds over loud speaker that they were participating in an unlawful gathering while urging them to leave the area.
The crowd responded by chanting ‘black lives matter’, prompting police to fire rubber bullets.
Several military-style armored patrol vehicles were also called in and were seen maneuvering around the county courthouse, firing tear gas at the crowd.
About three hours after declaring the protest an unlawful assembly, authorities had managed to push Tuesday night’s crowd out of the downtown park, with demonstrators scattering down streets.
The disturbances came hours after Governor Evers vowed to deploy additional National Guard troops in a bid to restore order in the town, while Blake’s mother publicly appealed for calm during a press conference held outside the court.
On Tuesday, President Trump, who has consistently denounced the BLM protests that have rocked the country in recent months, urged Wisconsin officials to call in the National Guard to quell the unrest, despite troops already being on the ground.
‘Governor should call in the National Guard in Wisconsin. It is ready, willing, and more than able. End problem FAST!’ Trump tweeted.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows later revealed Governor Evers had turned down Trump’s offer for federal assistance, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
A spokeswoman for Evers told the paper: ‘The governor informed them that we would be increasing Wisconsin National Guard support in Kenosha and therefore would not need federal assistance in response to protests but would welcome additional federal support and resources for our state’s response to COVID-19.’
An armored vehicle moves to the outside of the iron fence in front of the County Court House as police fired teargas towards protesters after they failed to clear the area
About three hours after declaring the protest an unlawful assembly, authorities had managed to push Tuesday night’s crowd out of the downtown park, with demonstrators scattering down streets
Kenosha County sheriff deputies eventually moved to the streets to clear a park of protesters after they ignored police orders to disperse
Protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday began started off peacefully before descending into chaos as protesters defied curfew and targeted police
Protesters burn a small American flag during a third night of unrest in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake by police officers, in Kenosha
Blake, 29, a father of six, was struck from behind at point-blank range in a hail of bullets fired on Sunday by police who were following him with guns drawn as he walked away from officers to his car and opened a door to the vehicle.
Three of his young sons inside the automobile – aged three, five and eight – witnessed their father being gunned down, according to civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Blake family.
A bystander captured the encounter in video footage that immediately went viral, unleashing outrage over the latest in a long series of instances in which police have been accused of using indiscriminate lethal force against African Americans.
Blake, who had been attempting to break up a quarrel between two women, was struck by multiple gunshots fired at him, all by one officer.
Crump also revealed Blake was undergoing surgery for his injuries, adding that the bullets severed his spinal cord and shattered his vertebrae. Another attorney said there was also severe damage to organs.
‘It’s going to take a miracle for Jacob Blake Jr to ever walk again,’ Crump said.
Blake, who is a father of six, is now in a stable condition in hospital after undergoing surgery
Jacob Blake was shot in the back by Wisconsin police on Sunday as his three young sons watched on. He is now paralyzed from the waist down after his body was riddled with bullets, his father says. Blake is pictured above being treated just moments after the shooting
Blake’s mother Julia Jackson (left) denounced the ‘violence and destruction’ that has rocked the city of Kenosha in the wake of the shooting and pleaded for calm on Tuesday. His father Jacob Blake Sr (right) became emotional as he spoke out against the cops who shot his son seven times
The legal team plans to file a civil lawsuit against the police department over the shooting.
Police have not explained why Blake was shot.
At a news conference earlier in the day, Blake’s parents expressed anguish over the shooting while decrying two previous nights of looting, vandalism and arson that overshadowed peaceful street protests.
‘They shot my son seven times, seven times, like he didn’t matter,’ Jacobv Blake Sr said tearfully as he spoke to reporters alongside other family members and lawyers.
‘But my son matters. He’s a human being and he matters.’
Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, said the damage in Kenosha does not reflect what her family wants and that, if her son could see it, he would be ‘very unpleased.’
After a night during which protests devolved into unrest, Gov. Evers had called for calm Tuesday saying: ‘We cannot allow the cycle of systemic racism and injustice to continue.’
‘We also cannot continue going down this path of damage and destruction.’
The night before crowds destroyed dozens of buildings and set more than 30 fires in the southeastern Wisconsin city’s downtown.
On Monday, heavily armed residents were also seen standing guard outside buildings and local shops in case they were targeted by rioters.
In footage shared online, a group of men were seen carrying rifles and wearing combat gear as they protect local shops. They denied they are part of a militia.