Two people were killed as Kenosha, Wisconsin entered its third straight night of protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. As the city marked another night of unrest, Black Lives Matters protesters again defied curfew, leading to tense confrontations with officers in riot gear.
According to a news release from the Kenosha Police Department early Wednesday morning, officers responded to the scene of a shooting, where Black Lives Matter protesters had gathered and scuffles had taken place earlier, at around 11:45 p.m. Hours later, at 3 a.m., The Journal Times reports that Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth confirmed that one person was dead, news that was followed at 5 a.m. by the confirmation of a second death. A third person was taken to the hospital with "serious, non-life-threatening injuries." The victims have not yet been identified.
At this time, it is unclear what prompted the shooting, though a witness told Kenosha News that a group of men was telling protesters to stop breaking windows of vehicles. Those protesters became mad and charged at the group. Multiple videos shared to social media, meanwhile, showed someone yelling, "He just shot somebody" towards a man carrying a long-nose gun. More shots were fired when they caught up with the man, with one person being struck in the arm and another appearing to have been hit in the abdomen. The man then walked toward police vehicles with his hands up.
Protests in the city have been ongoing since Blake's shooting. Cellphone footage of the incident showed Blake, 29, being followed to his vehicle by an officer aiming a gun at his back. That officer is then seen grabbing Blake by the shirt before firing at least seven times as Blake attempted to enter his vehicle.
With protests growing violent and leading to fires across the city, Wisconsin's Gov. Tony Evers declared a state of emergency Tuesday, calling in 250 members of the National Guard to assist, CNN reports. Evers has, however, encouraged protests to continue, though in a peaceful manner. That same day, Blake’s family called for peaceful protests and condemned the violence and destruction occurring in Kenosha.
"As I was riding through here, through this city, I noticed a lot of damage that doesn't reflect my son or my family," Julia Jackson, Blake's mother, said. "If Jacob knew what was going on as far as that goes, the violence and the destruction, he would be very unpleased."
Blake underwent surgery Tuesday afternoon. According to his family, he has been left paralyzed from the waist down by the shooting and doctors do not know if the paralysis is permanent.