A 17-year-old shooting suspect has been arrested after a night of brutal violence in the US city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, which left two people dead and one seriously wounded.
CNN reports suspected gunman Kyle Rittenhouse was detained overnight in nearby Antioch, Illinois, after police in Kenosha filed an arrest warrant charging him with first-degree murder.
The violence occurred during a third successive night of protests in Kenosha, which were sparked by the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake on Sunday.
Demonstrators in the city, incensed by footage showing a uniformed officer firing seven shots into the back of a Black man, took to the streets in spite of a police curfew.
Footage of the protests, obtained by CNN, shows demonstrators fleeing from a series of gunshots. One person can be heard screaming for a “medic.”
Subsequent footage shows an armed man walking towards police vehicles with his arms raised in the air. Law enforcement vehicles drive past him.
It is not immediately clear if Rittenhouse, who is White, appeared in the video.
However, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Rittenhouse appeared in earlier footage, standing with armed men outside a boarded-up business.
The video shows Rittenhouse, with a rifle slung across his body, speaking to a reporter from right-wing outlet The Daily Caller.
“That’s why I have my rifle, I’ve gotta protect myself, obviously,” he said.
Speaking to reporters, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said officers are investigating footage of the shooting and the moments beforehand.
Sheriff Beth said he didn’t know why officers would have driven past an armed man with his arms raised.
Social media posts reveal Rittenhouse thought of himself as an armed militia member.
BuzzFeed News also confirmed that in January, Rittenhouse sat in the front row of a rally for US President Donald Trump‘s reelection campaign.
Here’s what Beto O’Rourke, a former contender to represent the Democratic Party at November’s election, had to say about it:
Nothing random about the murders in Kenosha. You don’t get a white 17 year old killing protestors w/ an AR-15 w/out the President first vilifying protestors, a gun lobby that has cowed Congress into allowing the sale of weapons of war, & a racism stoked by Trump & his enablers.
— Beto O’Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 26, 2020
Unspeakably grim stuff at play, here.