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17-year-old suspect in Jacob Blake protest shooting charged with 2 counts of homicide

The 17-year-old Illinois resident arrested in connection with the fatal shooting at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, sparked by the police shooting of Jacob Blake now faces two charges of homicide.

Kyle Rittenhouse, of Antioch, was arrested in his hometown Wednesday on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide. Multiple additional charges were filed against the teenager Thursday afternoon by Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley, including another count of first-degree intentional homicide, as well as first-degree reckless homicide, and attempted first-degree intentional homicide, according to Wisconsin court records.

He is also facing two charges of reckless endangerment, which are also felony counts, and a misdemeanor count of possession of a dangerous weapon under the age of 18.

The Kenosha County District Attorney’s office was closed Thursday afternoon and did not immediately respond to request for comment from NBC News.

Rittenhouse is being held in the Lake County Judicial System as he awaits extradition to Wisconsin, the Village of Antioch Police Department said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Online court records show that a hearing is scheduled for Friday morning. Attorney information was not listed for Rittenhouse and calls to family members were not immediately returned.

That same day, Blake’s parents are to attend a march in Washington, D.C. against police brutality.

A 26-year-old from Silver Lake and a 36-year-old from Kenosha were killed in the protests just before midnight Tuesday. A third person, 26, from West Allis, sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities have not released the names of the victims.

During a press conference on Thursday, Kenosha officials said that protests in the city following Tuesday’s shooting have been peaceful.

“Since Wednesday, the entire atmosphere of Kenosha has changed dramatically as far as the people who live here. The crowds last night were small, it was a few hundred people and they walked peacefully through Kenosha,” Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said. “I think the people that were here last night were Kenosha’s people. … A huge part of me thinks that a lot of our issues start when different people with different agendas come here to Kenosha.”

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes described Rittenhouse as an “outside agitator” who “came in from Illinois with a long rifle and was able to just walk the streets, freely, like that’s something normal we should just come to expect.”

“We shouldn’t accept it,” he added at a Thursday press conference. “Because what do you think is going to happen if you have an agitated man with a long gun walking down the streets thinking that he’s some sort of peacekeeper?”

Part of the chaos from earlier this week was captured on cellphone video, showing a man sitting in the middle of a street appearing to aim a gun at people who are running. The video was posted on Twitter and verified by NBC News.

One person appears to try to grab the weapon before a shot is fired and the person falls to the ground a few feet away from the shooter.

The sound of gunfirecan be heard in another video captured by a reporter for NBC affiliate WTMJ of Milwaukee. That video shows what looks like law enforcement vehicles outside a gas station. People are seen running as shots ring out.

The videos do not show what happened before the gunfire, and NBC News has not confirmed whether the incident is the same shooting described by police, which Rittenhouse was arrested over.

The protests in the city, about 40 miles southeast of Milwaukee, were sparked by the police shooting of Blake, 29, on Sunday. A video of the incident was widely shared on social media.

Blake was shot seven times by an officer at close range, and he is now paralyzed from the waist down, family attorney Patrick Salvi said. Doctors do not know whether the condition is permanent.

Blake’s parents are expected to attend a rally Friday in Washington, organized by the National Action Network (of which Rev. Al Sharpton, an MSNBC host, is president) and the NAACP, attorney Benjamin Crump said during an appearance Thursday on CNN.

Crump, who is co-counsel for the family, said they will address matters related to the shooting.

“I’m sure his mother’s gonna be calling for us to heal this country and also to examine our hearts as she so eloquently said when we were in Kenosha, Wisconsin,” he said on CNN. “And his father, I’m sure is going to be saying that this is a problem and we have to speak truth to power.”

The rally, dubbed “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks,” will advocate “for comprehensive police accountability reform, the Census, and mobilizing voters for the November elections,” according to the National Action Network website.

Sharpton announced the rally — which will be held on the 57th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech — at a memorial for George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

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