KENOSHA (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Justice identified the Kenosha police officer that shot Jacob Blake who allegedly had a knife in his vehicle.
The news came Wednesday in a press release from DOJ. The department's Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the inquiry into the shooting.
Officer Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department, has been placed on administrative leave after firing his gun seven times at Blake.
Blake was leaning into his vehicle where investigators say they later found a knife. Blake told authorities during the investigation that he had a knife in his vehicle, DOJ said.
Sheskey held Blake's shirt while firing. The officer on leave was the only one who fired a gun.
Police tried to use a taser before shooting but it "was not successful in stopping" Blake, DOJ said. The press release did not say why the taser failed.
Here is the statement:
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) is investigating 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. Law enforcement deployed a taser to attempt to stop Mr. Blake, however the taser was 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 into 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.
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 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.
No additional details are currently available.
District Attorney Michael D. Graveley asked the community for patience while the investigation takes place. He said it will take time to make sure that it is done completely and properly.
He also said that he's asked the U.S. Attorney's office to conduct a parallel investigation into the incident as well as a civil rights investigation.