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black lives matter

2 dead, 1 wounded in Kenosha after armed 'vigilantes' clash with protesters, police say

At least two people were shot dead and another wounded in Kenosha, Wisconsin, late Tuesday during a third night of protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Kenosha police said early Wednesday. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said nobody has been apprehended for the shootings, but they have identified at least one suspect and "I feel very confident we'll have him in a very short time."

Videos on social media appeared to show a white man with a long gun shoot at least three people, one in the head and another in the chest, in tense confrontations with protesters. After the shootings, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, "the gunman is then seen heading north toward several police tactical vehicles, his arms raised, according to video footage. The tactical vehicles drive by him."

Earlier Tuesday night, police in riot gear had pushed Black Lives Matter protesters away from the courthouse and down Kenosha's Sheridan Road, where then they collided with armed men Beth described to the Journal Sentinel as "a militia" and "like a vigilante group" unofficially patrolling Kenosha's streets. The protests Monday night had left property damaged, and some of the armed men told reporters they had heard rumors online that protesters would bring pipe bombs or were urged on Facebook to come and defend the city. There were also people with guns who said they were there to protect the protesters, The Washington Post notes, but no evidence of pipe bombs.

"I've had people saying, 'Why don't you deputize citizens?'" Beth told reporters. "This is why you don't deputize citizens with guns to protect Kenosha."