Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

A 17-Year-Old Is Arrested After Kenosha, Wis., Shootings


A 17-year-old has been charged with killing two protesters last night and wounding a third in Kenosha, Wis. The shootings came during a third night of protests over the police shooting of a Black man named Jacob Blake. LaToya Dennis of member station WUWM joins us now with an update. Hey, LaToya.


CHANG: So what can you tell us about this arrest? Who exactly was it, and what were the charges?

DENNIS: Well, as you said, he is 17 years old. His name is Kyle Rittenhouse. He's a white male. And he was arrested in Antioch, Ill., which is maybe about 15 miles away from Kenosha. He's been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, and basically extradition is pending at this point.

CHANG: OK. So what do we know so far about the victims of last night's shooting?

DENNIS: Not much has been released. Today, we did find out their ages and where they live. So one of those who was killed was a 26-year-old who lived in Silver Lake, Ill. Another was a 36-year-old right here from Kenosha, Wis. And then the person that was seriously injured is another 26-year-old who lives just outside of Milwaukee.

CHANG: OK. Well, I understand that Kenosha officials have been pretty tight-lipped over the past few days, but the police did hold a press conference earlier today. I understand that you were there. What more information have they divulged?

DENNIS: You know, this press conference was really short on details. They did talk about how peaceful protests are allowed and they're accepting of those. But they said they don't really want more people out with the guns and that violence will not be accepted on any side. Here is David Beth, who is the Kenosha County sheriff, talking about an interesting call that he received.


DAVID BETH: I had a person call me and say, why don't you deputize citizens who have guns to come out and patrol the city of Kenosha? And what happened last night - and I think Chief Miskinis is going to talk about it - is probably the perfect reason why I wouldn't.

DENNIS: You know, Beth went on to talk about the fact that the county would be liable if, you know, something like what happened last night with an armed person shooting individuals, if they had been deputized. And so he said he was glad that that didn't, and that he would never do anything like that.

CHANG: So I know that the city has been under curfew, which is now starting even earlier. What are you expecting in terms of law enforcement presence after these fatal shootings last night?

DENNIS: Yeah. I think we're expecting, at this point, as you said, the curfew will be earlier. Instead of 8 p.m., it will now start at 7 p.m. And the purpose of that is to, they said, basically get people off the street in the daylight when it's easier to see. So I'm expecting that there will be more stricter, you know, guidelines when it comes to actually getting people off the street. The curfew will be more heavily enforced. They have asked for more National Guard members to be sent here, and I believe Gov. Tony Evers has agreed to send an additional 500. There are already federal agents here. And today, President Trump said that he's willing to send more and that he will be sending more federal agents here. So that's to be expected, as well. So it seems like more policing, for sure.

CHANG: That is LaToya Dennis of member station WUWM speaking with us from Kenosha, Wis. Thank you, LaToya.

DENNIS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

LaToya Dennis joined WUWM in October 2006 as a reporter / producer. LaToya began her career in public radio as a part-time reporter for WKAR AM/FM in East Lansing, Michigan. She worked as general assignment reporter for WKAR for one and a half years while working toward a master's degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. While at WKAR, she covered General Motors plant closings, city and state government, and education among other critical subjects.