Jacob Blake Was Armed with a Knife When Shot by Police, Wisconsin AG Confirms
Weapon recovered from driver's side floor of Blake's car, DOJ reveals
Jacob Blake was armed with a knife when he was shot by police in Kenosha on Sunday, the Wisconsin attorney general has confirmed.
According to AG Josh Kaul, investigators recovered the weapon from the driver's side floor of Blake's car following the incident.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice revealed some of the first details surrounding the police shooting that has triggered violent unrest across the city.
The DOJ has now also provided the name of the officer who opened fire.
Investigators say the knife was recovered from the driver's side floorboard of Blakes SUV.
However, it is unclear at this point if Blake had the knife on him during the scuffle with police or whether he was reaching for it when he was shot.
29-year-old Blake was shot multiple times in the back by Kenosha officers responding to a dispute at the scene on Sunday evening.
Before any facts were revealed, the incident sparked national outrage and violent riots and looting from protesters decrying police brutality.
Police were called to the scene at the 2800 block of 40th Street in Kenosha on Sunday.
Blake's girlfriend had "reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises."
Before opening fire, officers tried to subdue him with a taser.
"During the incident, officers attempted to arrest Jacob S. Blake," officials said.
"Law enforcement deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake, however, the taser was not successful in stopping Mr. Blake."
Blake later admitted to investigators that he had a knife and agents recovered it from the driver’s side floorboard of his vehicle after opening fire.
No other weapons were found.
During the incident, officers yelled for Blake to "drop the knife" as they followed him around the car.
He opened his car door and appeared to lunge for something as a police officer, identified as Officer Rusten Sheskey, grabbed the back of his shirt in an attempt to restrain him.
He then proceeded to open fire, shooting Blake multiple times.
Officials said Blake was either lunging for the knife on the floorboard or it fell from his hand, according to reports.
Officer Sheskey was the only cop who opened fire at the scene.
Sheskey, who has been with the department for seven years, has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, along with the other officers involved in the shooting, officials said.
Wisconsin AG Kaul said in a news conference that the other officers involved in the shooting will be identified "soon."
After the shooting the officers "immediately provided medical aid" and Blake was taken to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, where he remains.
Blake's lawyers said in a press conference Tuesday that the bullets struck his spinal cord and resulted in the near-complete removal of his colon and small intestine and damaged his kidney and liver.
Family members said he was paralyzed by the shooting, but it's unclear if it will be permanent.
An investigation into the case remains ongoing from the Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, according to authorities. The department aims to provide a report within 30 days, it said.
In the wake of Blake’s shooting, Kenosha has been ravaged by violent Black Lives Matter protests, riots, and looting.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized the sending of 500 members of the National Guard to Kenosha, doubling the number of troops since the shooting.
The governor’s office said he is working with other states to bring in additional National Guard members and law officers.
In Washington, the Justice Department said it is sending in the FBI and federal marshals in response to the unrest.
The White House said up to 2,000 National Guard troops would be made available.