Two dead after ‘multiple gunshot victims’ at Jacob Blake protests

Two people have died after gunfire broke out during protests over the police shooting of a black man in Wisconsin.

It comes on the third day of unrest after Jacob Blake was shot several times in Kenosha on Sunday.

The city’s police department said officers responded to reports of “shots being fired and multiple gunshot victims” on Tuesday night.

Investigation Launched After Officer-Involved Shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin

Police shoot man multiple times

“The shooting resulted in two fatalities and a third gunshot victim was transported to a hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries,” the force said.

It said an investigation was under way, with details about the victims not yet made public.

Riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas during the clashes as protesters defied a curfew and gathered outside a court building and park at the centre of Kenosha.

Jacob Blake, a black man shot by police in Wisconsin. Pic: Ben Crump
Image:The circumstances surrounding the shooting of the 29-year-old are still unclear. Pic: Ben Crump

Most people left the area, but some walked to a nearby petrol station, according to The New York Times, which said the atmosphere became tense as some started to argue and shove each other.

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Police arrived in armoured trucks and urged the crowd to go home, before shots were fired after midnight.

Flares go off in front of a Kenosha Country Sheriff Vehicle as demonstrators take part in a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S. August 25, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Image:Violence broke out on the streets of the Wisconsin city on Tuesday night

Three people were hit, The New York Times reported, quoting Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth.

He said the investigation was focused on a group of men with guns outside the petrol station, and that officers were scouring video taken just before the shooting.

Footage on social media showed several people rushing towards a man firing at them with a gun.

One person falls to the ground as several other shots are heard in the background.

KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 25: An explosive device detonates on the front of an armored vehicle as protesters confront police in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse during a third night of unrest on August 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rioting as well as clashes between police and protesters began Sunday night after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back in front of his three children. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Another video shows a man with a serious arm wound sitting on the ground while he is tended to by a man holding a gun, as police approach.

Wisconsin’s governor, Tony Evers, had called for calm and declared a state of emergency under which he doubled the National Guard deployment from 125 to 250.

Man struggles with wounded arm during Wisconsin protests

Man falls to ground with wounded arm in Wisconsin
KENOSHA, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 25: As tear gas fills the air, demonstrators confront police in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse during a third night of unrest on August 25, 2020 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rioting as well as clashes between police and protesters began Sunday night after a police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back in front of his three children. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Mr Blake’s mother, Julia Jackson, said her son would be “very unpleased” if he could see the violence that had broken out in the city.

She said: “I’m really asking and encouraging everyone in Wisconsin and abroad to take a moment and examine your heart – citizens, police officers, firemen, clergy, politicians – do Jacob justice on this level and examine your heart.

Julia Jackson, mother of Jacob Blake, gave a powerful speech calling for healing while condemning the recent violence

‘How dare we hate what we are, we are humans’

“We need healing. As I pray for my son, healing physically, emotionally and spiritually, I also have been praying even before this for healing of our country.”

The shooting of Mr Blake on Sunday was captured in a graphic video, apparently filmed by a bystander, sparking protests which have included some rioting and looting.

Thirty businesses were destroyed in the city on Monday night.

A family lawyer, Ben Crump, said the 29-year-old had been left paralysed and was “fighting for his life”.

Mr Blake’s family is preparing to file a civil lawsuit against the police department.

Their lawyer said Mr Blake was trying to break up an argument between two women.

A protestor has teargas residue washed from her face outside the County Courthouse during demonstrations against the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020. - The mother of a black man shot repeatedly in the back by Wisconsin police called August 25 for calm after two nights of violent protests, as her lawyer said it would take a "miracle" for her son to walk again. Expecting another night of demonstrations, Kenosha authorities installed a temporary iron fence in front

In the footage, he walks from the pavement to the front of his vehicle as officers follow him with their guns drawn and shout at him.

As Mr Blake opens the door and leans in, an officer grabs his shirt from behind and opens fire.

Seven shots can be heard, though it is not clear how many struck Mr Blake or how many officers fired.

Mr Blake’s sons – aged three, five and eight – were in the family car at the time, Mr Crump said. It was the eight-year-old’s birthday.

A law enforcement officer holds a weapon as he stands in the hatch of an armored vehicle as people protest outside the Kenosha County Courthouse after a Black man, identified as Jacob Blake, was shot several times by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S. August 25, 2020. REUTERS/Stephen Maturen

Tension and tear gas at Wisconsin protests

The man who says he filmed the shooting, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Mr Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them shout, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before shots were fired.

He said he did not see a knife in Mr Blake’s hands.

Mr Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son had “eight holes” in his body.

Police have said little about what happened other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute.

It comes three months after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis led to protests in the US and around the world.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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