Wisconsin’s state Department of Justice released the first additional information in the Jacob Blake shooting through the Wisconsin Attorney General late Wednesday, identifying the officer who shot Blake seven times in the back during an altercation Sunday evening and revealing previously unknown details about the incident, which was captured on a now-viral video.
The officer directly involved, Rusten Sheskey, is a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department. At least two other officers were present during the incident and engaged Blake, but they have not yet been identified. All of the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending the state’s and police department’s investigation.
“Officer Rusten Sheskey shot Blake, 29, while holding onto his shirt after officers first unsuccessfully used a taser and as Blake leaned into his vehicle during an incident Sunday evening, the agency’s news release said,” according to Wisconsin’s WTOP news.
During a press conference, investigators also revealed that Blake had a knife in his possession, a fact he admitted to investigators following the shooting.
“State agents later recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of the vehicle, the release said. A search of the vehicle located no additional weapons,” WTOP added.
Investigators did not give any further details about the knife, when it was found, or whether officers believed that Blake was reaching for the knife when Sheskey, who was holding Blake by the back of his shirt, fired his weapon. Investigators also refused to say whether they were charging Sheskey with a crime, noting that the Wisconsin Department of Investigation is still pursuing the case.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul did, however, give background details on the call that resulted in the officer-involved shooting. Kenosha police were dispatched to a home Sunday “after a woman reported her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be there,” Milwaukee’s NBC affiliate noted.
“According to the DOJ, officers tried to arrest Blake, 29, and activated a Taser in an attempt to detain him,” the outlet added. “Blake, however, continued around to the driver’s side of a vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward. The report states that Sheskey, holding Blake’s shirt fired off seven shots into his back.”
The Wisconsin Department of Justice expects to conclude its investigation “within 30 days.”
The shooting, which reportedly has left Blake paralyzed from the waist down, triggered unrest in Kenosha and across Wisconsin, leaving a trail of destruction and violence. Tuesday night, the situation worsened, as two people were killed and one injured in an attack “carried out by a young white man who was caught on cellphone video opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle,” per WTOP.
That man, a 17-year-old resident of Antioch, Illinois, was arrested Wednesday afternoon and has been charged with “first-degree intentional homicide,” The Daily Wire reported. He will appear in bond court on Friday and then be extradited to Wisconsin, authorities said Wednesday evening.