Antioch teen charged with murder in overnight shooting during Kenosha protests

A 17-year-old Antioch man was held Wednesday in the shooting deaths of two people during another night of protests in Kenosha stemming from the police shooting of a Black man.

Kyle Rittenhouse was taken into custody in Antioch on an arrest warrant issued Wednesday morning by Kenosha County authorities charging him with first degree intentional homicide, according to a statement issued by the village of Antioch.

Two people were shot to death late Tuesday in Kenosha in an attack carried out by a young white man who was caught on cellphone video opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.

"I just killed somebody," the gunman could be heard saying at one point just before midnight, The Associated Press reported.

The men who were shot were white, according to a report in the Kenosha News. Kenosha police and the FBI are investigating the killings.

Rittenhouse is held without bond at the Hulse Juvenile Justice Center near Vernon Hills, Lake County authorities said Wednesday. He also was charged with being a fugitive from justice.

Antioch village officials said Rittenhouse is held pending an extradition hearing scheduled for Friday to transfer custody from Illinois to Wisconsin. A public defender in Lake County has been appointed, according to court records.

"Our village of Antioch is deeply saddened by all loss of life," Antioch Mayor Lawrence Hanson said in a news release. "Our hearts and prayers extend to the friends and family who lost a loved one."

Late Wednesday, Hanson ordered a curfew be imposed on all persons within the village, effective from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day until further notice. Village officials said they were aware of social media posts that imply there may be social unrest in town. Police are evaluating to determine the validity and credibility and working with other agencies to ensure the village is "prepared for any impacts," according to the release.

Plywood covered some storefront windows Wednesday evening on Main Street in downtown Antioch.

During a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Kenosha police Chief Daniel Miskinis said two Wisconsin residents were killed: a 26-year-old Silver Lake resident and a 36-year old Kenosha resident. A 26-year-old West Allis, Wisconsin, resident was wounded, he added. Police have not released the identities of the shooting victims.

"This case is still very active," Miskinis said. "We don't know what led to the disturbance, what led to the deadly use of force and if both deaths are related to that person."

Also during that news conference, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said he received calls Tuesday from people asking to be deputized as armed citizens to help police. He said he thinks Tuesday night's killings may be part of those calls.

In Wisconsin, it is legal for people 18 and over to openly carry a gun, with no license required.

According to witness accounts, news reports and cellphone video footage, police appeared to let the man responsible for the shootings walk past them with a rifle over his shoulder as members of the crowd yelled for him to be arrested because he had shot people.

Witness accounts and video show the gunman shot someone at a car lot, then jogged away, stumbled and fell in the street, and opened fire again as members of the crowd closed in on him.

During Wednesday's news conference, Beth was asked why deputies seemingly let the gunman walk past them. The suspect was seen on video walking toward police officials with his arms up.

"I've been in a shooting before. And in situations that are high stress, you have such incredible tunnel vision you have no idea what's outside, outside right here if you're looking right here," he said. "I'm not making an excuse, I'm just telling you from personal experience what could have done that."

Rittenhouse attended high school in Lake County for a short time and may have been a former public safety cadet with a suburban police department.

Antioch-Lakes Community High School District 117 Superintendent Jim McKay said Rittenhouse attended Lakes Community High School for one semester as a freshman in the 2017-18 school year. McKay said he did not know why Rittenhouse left.

Earlier in the day, Eric Hamilton, the district's principal for administration, posted a "community communication" on the district website, saying it had received information that two individuals involved in the deadly situation in Kenosha lived in Antioch.

The individuals were not identified but the statement said they are not currently associated with Antioch or Lakes high schools. One of the individuals was enrolled at Lakes for a time, according to the statement.

"Upon hearing concerns from our student body and members of our community, we felt it necessary to inform the public that they will see an increase in police presence around the school," Hamilton said. He declined further comment.

Authorities have not mentioned whether a second person was involved or is being sought in connection with the Kenosha shooting.

And, Grayslake police said in a statement they were notified that a former Public Safety Cadet (youth program) was a possible suspect in a Kenosha shooting. The person was not identified and, citing the person's age and Illinois law, Police Chief Phillip L. Perlini said he couldn't comment further but noted the department is cooperating with the FBI and Kenosha police. The Grayslake-Lindenhurst-Hainesville Public Safety Cadet program Facebook page was shut down.

The Associated Press reported that much of Rittenhouse's Facebook page was devoted to praising law enforcement, with references to Blue Lives Matter, a movement that supports police. There was also a photo of him with an assault rifle, according to The Associated Press. His Facebook page was later wiped and deleted.

The fatal shootings Tuesday night were part of the violence that has punctuated several nights of protests in Kenosha, stemming from the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday. Blake, 29, was shot, apparently in the back, as he leaned into his SUV, three of his children seated inside.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has authorized 500 National Guard members to support local law enforcement in Kenosha and is working with other states to bring additional support. A 7 p.m. curfew has been imposed until Sunday.

• The Associated Press and Daily Herald staff writers Pete Nenni, Russell Lissau, Elena Ferrarin and Doug Graham contributed to this report.

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  Main Street businesses in downtown Antioch board up their windows Wednesday. Village officials said they were aware of social media posts implying there may be social unrest in town in connection with the arrest of a 17-year-old resident charged with the fatal shootings of two people during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. John Starks/
  Main Street businesses in downtown Antioch board up their windows Wednesday evening out of concern for possible social unrest stemming from the arrest of a 17-year-old resident in connection with two shooting deaths Tuesday night during protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. John Starks/
  Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17-year-old suspect in the shooting deaths of two people during a protest Tuesday night in Kenosha, Wisconsin, lives at the Anita Terrace apartment complex in Antioch. John Starks/
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