The sheriff’s department said in a statement officers responded to a call at 12:42 a.m. in Kenosha, which is 40 miles south of Milwaukee and 66 miles north of Chicago, concerning a shooting at Somers House Tavern, a gathering place for the Carthage College community, which initially went into lockdown following the shooting.
Authorities said officers upon arrival discovered three deaths, three men suffering from gunshot wounds and a seventh possible unknown shooting victim.
Sunday evening, the department announced a person of interest was in custody and has been charged with first degree intentional homicide with additional charges to follow after initially stating the shooter, described as a Black man who is taller than six feet wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt, was at large.
“This appears to be a targeted and isolated incident,” the department said.
The victims suffering from gunshot wounds were transported to local hospitals, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said, adding there are several crime scenes.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth told reporters during a press conference the suspected shooter was told to leave the tavern following a disagreement with management only to return a short time later when he opened fire.
Beth said he believes the shooter knew who his victims were.
“I know that there was a confrontation obviously and I believe just outside the building there was also another confrontation with gunfire,” Beth said.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers said his heart “breaks” for the city following the shooting.
“Kathy and I join Wisconsinites in hoping and praying those injured recover from their injuries,” he said in a tweet. “We are thinking of the families and loved ones affected and the entire Kenosha community as they grieve and grapple with yet another tragic incident of gun violence.”
The shooting occurred in a city that has been at the center of unrest since late last summer and amid a string of mass shootings across the country.
On Aug. 23, 2020, a Kenosha police officer shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back and left him paralyzed from the neck down. Rusten Sheskey was not charged with any wrongdoing and has returned to active duty from administrative leave, the police department announced.
Two days later last year, two men were killed during a protest in response to the shooting. Kyle Rittenhouse, 17 at the time, has pleaded not guilty to all charge.
Since March 16, there have been 47 mass shootings, which is defined as an event that has four victims killed or wounded by gunfire not including the shooter, CNN reported.
On Saturday, a 21-year-old man died and a 22-year-old woman had non-life-threatening injuries after a shooting at Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb. Two males suspects were arrested: a 16-year-old accused in the homicides and an 18-year-old as accessory to a felony.