Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey was holding on to Jacob Blake's shirt, trying to prevent him from getting into his SUV, when he shot Blake seven times in the back, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said in a statement late Wednesday.
Officers arrived at Blake's address responding to a call from a woman who said her boyfriend wasn't supposed to be there, the state DOJ said. Officers tried to arrest Blake on a domestic warrant uncovered en route to the scene, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. One officer tased Blake, and when he continued trying to leave the scene, three officers followed him at close range. Sheskey grabbed and shot Blake after he "leaned forward" into the driver's side door, the Wisconsin DOJ said. State officers found a knife on the floorboard, but no other weapons in the car, and it is unclear if the Kenosha police officers knew about the knife. Blake was shot less than three minutes after police arrived.
Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha police, has been placed on administrative leave, along with the other officers involved. Kenosha District Attorney Michael Graveley asked for patience Wednesday, saying, "We will only decide whether any Kenosha police officer is going to be charged with a crime and that can only occur if we believe that that crime can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt."
Blake is now paralyzed, his family's lawyer said, and "it's going to take a miracle" for him to ever walk again. The shooting, following multiple other acts of police violence against Black Americans, prompted protests and unrest in Kenosha and elsewhere. A 17-year-old from Illinois who had come to Kenosha with a semi-automatic rifle was arrested Wednesday for allegedly killing two protesters and wounding another Tuesday night. Videos from Tuesday night show Kenosha police handing out water to the gunman and other militia members and thanking them for being there.