VERNON HILLS, Ill. (CBS) — A 17-year-old boy is in police custody in north suburban Lake County, charged as a fugitive in connection with a shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that left two people dead and another wounded.
Kenosha County authorities issued an arrest warrant for 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, Illinois, on Wednesday morning, charging him with first-degree intentional homicide.
Rittenhouse was arrested later Wednesday morning in Antioch, and he was taken to the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center near Vernon Hills. An extradition hearing has been scheduled for Friday.
CBS 2 stopped by the teen’s Antioch home Wednesday afternoon, but property managers asked us to leave and we were escorted off the complex by police.
In a photo posted on Kyle Rittenhouse’s now-deleted Facebook, he’s sporting a long gun. Based on his social media posts, he appears to have been a former police explorer — a program for kids considering a career in law enforcement.
The Anti-Defamation League said there is no indication from his social media footprint that he was connected to any extremist movements.
The shooting took place around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday near 63rd Street and Sheridan Road in Kenosha, amid a third night of unrest following the police shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake.
Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said the two people who were killed were a 26-year-old resident of Silver Lake, and a 36-year-old resident of Kenosha. A 26-year-old resident of West Allis was wounded, but expected to survive.
The partner of the 26-year-old victim who was killed identified him to CBS 58 Milwaukee as Anthony Huber.
Huber’s partner says he was the smartest, kindest man she ever knew.
Miskinis said it’s still unclear exactly what led to the shooting, and if both people killed were shot by the same person. He said it appeared there was some kind of confrontation involving people who were out on the streets after curfew, and the 17-year-old started shooting.
“This is not a police action. This is not the action, I believe, of those who set out to do protests. It is the persons who are involved after the legal time, involved in illegal activity, that brought violence to this community,” he said.
Several groups were out on the streets of Kenosha after curfew Tuesday night, including protesters as well as an armed group calling themselves “armed citizens to protect our lives and property.” The armed group said they were protecting the city from looting and burning.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said it’s possible the shooter was part of one of an armed group that had asked his office to deputize them earlier Tuesday night to help protect property in Kenosha.
However, Beth said he would never deputize civilians who own guns.
“Oh, hell no,” he said. “What a scary, scary thought that would be in my world.”
The sheriff said, if he were to deputize armed civilians, it would create an unacceptable liability, because he’d be responsible for their actions.
“It would have been one deputy sheriff who killed two people,” he said. “The liability that goes with that would have been immense.”
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian said he does not welcome armed civilians taking to the streets during the protests and looting.
“I don’t need more guns on the street in the community when we are trying to make sure that we are keeping people safe. Law enforcement is trained. They’re the ones who are responsible. They’re the ones we have faith that will do their jobs to make sure it gets done, and it would be beneficial and helpful to everyone to realize that,” he said.
Social media videos captured a young man armed with a rifle as he apparently shot and killed at least two people overnight in Kenosha, and wounded a third.
The incident was captured on a series of videos on social media, which appear to show Rittenhouse opening fire in the parking lot of a car dealership and again on a crowded street, and then walking past police responding to the scene without being taken into custody. As he walked past police at the scene, Rittenhouse apparently told officers he works at a nearby business, but court records indicate that he is a lifeguard at a YMCA in Lindenhurst.
Beth declined to speculate on exactly why police might have let the shooter go when he approached them with his hands up, but said officers might have been focused on other matters, because of everything going on in the area at the time.
Police so far have not commented on where Rittenhouse got a gun. Illinois law prohibits anyone under 18 from preventing a handgun.
Some people living in Kenosha are leaving the city after escalating violence, riots, and looting; and police are still searching for the killer who opened fire Tuesday night on the streets of Kenosha.
In the wake of the shooting, there is growing concern about what could happen again later today.
There are several videos of the incident on social media, some of them very graphic. The shooting happened on 63rd and Sheridan in Kenosha. One video shows a man carrying a rifle running through the lot of a car dealership just before several shots ring out.
The man with the rifle then can be hard saying “I just killed somebody” as he runs away from the scene, while others in the video tend to a person on the ground who appears to have been shot in the head.
Another widely shared video on social media appears to show the same man running through a crowd on the street as someone asks “what he do?” Another person says “he just shot someone” just before the man with the rifle falls to the ground and someone shouts “get his a**.”
From a seated position, the man appears to fire as many as four shots, shooting one person in the torso and another in the arm.
This shooter needs outside representation.
He messed up by shooting people… but according to his buddies; they were working with the police who told them they would…well watch.
— Steve Rollins (@greenhornsr) August 26, 2020
As the crowd around him scatters, the gunman stood up and continued walking down the street, repeatedly putting his hands up as police vehicles arrived on the scene. Someone in the crowd shouted to police that the gunman had just shot someone, but several police cars drove past him toward the people who had been shot. In the video, it does not appear any officers try to stop the man with the rifle.
A separate video appears to show the gunman interacting with Kenosha County Sheriff’s officers earlier in the night outside a gas station. In the video, officers can be heard telling an armed group outside the gas station “we appreciate you guys,” and passing out water.
Officers also can be heard telling others outside the gas station, “You are a civilian. This area is closed to them. You are trespassing. Leave. Leave now.”
Police in Kenosha Wisconsin were giving water to white milita members and saying they "appreciate them being there" while assaulting protestors.
Later in the night, militia members shot protestors. Two people are now dead one in the hospital.
— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) August 26, 2020
Meantime, people in Kenosha came out Wednesday morning to help clean up after another night of unrest. They said they’ll do anything to help out their town, but fear the chaos isn’t over just yet.
“I have no doubt that it’s going to happen tonight. I just hope it’s not as bad as last night, with everything that did happen, with like shootings with civilians on civilians. It kind of sucks, and I hope that will end soon,” Jacob Schubert said.
In anticipation of additional protests, the Kenosha County Board sent a letter to Gov. Tony Evers, requesting additional National Guard members with police powers to be brought in.
Antioch Community High School District 117 said there will be an increased police presence in and around their schools, after hearing concerns from students and members of the community that two people involved in the Kenosha shooting live in Antioch.
Antioch High School’s website said Rittenhouse is not currently associated with Antioch or Lakes Community High School.