Josh Kaul
Press Release

UPDATE: Kenosha Officer Involved Shooting

September 1, 2020

By - Sep 1st, 2020 02:30 pm

KENOSHA, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is continuing to investigate an officer involved shooting (OIS) in Kenosha, Wis. that occurred on the evening of Sunday, August 23, 2020.

Kenosha Police Department officers were dispatched to a residence in the 2800 block of 40th Street after a female caller reported that her boyfriend was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.

During the incident, officers attempted to arrest Jacob S. Blake, age 29. After the initial attempt to arrest Mr. Blake, Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake. When that attempt failed, Kenosha Police Officer Vincent Arenas also deployed his taser, however that taser was also not successful in stopping Mr. Blake.

Mr. Blake walked around his vehicle, opened the driver’s side door, and leaned forward. While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times. Officer Sheskey fired the weapon towards Mr. Blake’s back. No other officer fired their weapon. Kenosha Police Department does not have body cameras, therefore the officers were not wearing body cameras.

The shooting officer, Kenosha Police Officer Rusten Sheskey, has been a law enforcement officer with Kenosha Police Department for seven years. Kenosha Police Officer Vincent Arenas has served with Kenosha Police Department since February 2019, with prior service with the United States Capitol Police Department. Also present was Kenosha Police Officer Brittany Meronek who joined Kenosha Police Department in January of this year.

During the investigation following the initial incident, Mr. Blake admitted that he had a knife in his possession. DCI agents recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Mr. Blake’s vehicle. A search of the vehicle located no additional weapons.

Law enforcement immediately provided medical aid to Mr. Blake. Flight for Life transported Mr. Blake to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. Mr. Blake remains at the hospital.

DCI is leading this investigation and is assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office. All involved law enforcement are fully cooperating with DCI during this investigation. The involved officers have been placed on administrative leave.

DCI, along with the FBI, have thus far completed the following as part of the ongoing investigation:

  • Conducted 88 witness interviews,
  • Collected 102 evidence items,
  • Downloaded 28 videos for review,
  • Issued 4 search warrants, and,
  • Dedicated over 600 hours working on this case as of Saturday, August 29, 2020.

DCI is continuing to review evidence and determine the facts of this incident and will turn over investigative reports to a prosecutor following a complete and thorough investigation.

When DCI is the lead investigating agency of a shooting involving a law enforcement officer, DCI aims to provide a report of the incident to the prosecutor within 30 days. The prosecutor then reviews the report and makes a determination about what charges, if any, are appropriate. If the prosecutor determines there is no basis for prosecution of the law enforcement officer, DCI will thereafter make the report available to the public.

Questions regarding Mr. Blake’s other matter or custodial status can be directed to Kenosha District Attorney.

No additional details are currently available.

Please direct all media inquiries regarding this incident to DOJ.

More about the Shooting of Jacob Blake

Read more about Shooting of Jacob Blake here

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