Sheriff: 3 dead, 2 wounded in shooting at Wisconsin tavern

Crime

Officials investigate the scene a deadly shooting at Somers House Tavern in Kenosha, Wis., Sunday, April 18, 2021. Several people were killed and two were seriously wounded in a shooting at the busy tavern in southeastern Wisconsin early Sunday, sheriff’s officials said. (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Three people were killed and two were seriously wounded in a shooting at a busy tavern in southeastern Wisconsin early Sunday, sheriff’s officials said.

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said the suspect in the shooting at Somers House Tavern in Kenosha County is still at large, but that he believes the public is not in danger. 

“We believe our suspect knew who he was targeting,” Beth said during a Sunday morning news conference. He asked that anyone with information about the incident contact the Kenosha Sheriff’s Department. Kenosha is about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Milwaukee, not far from the Wisconsin-Illinois border.

The suspect had been asked to leave the bar, but returned and opened fire. Beth said shots were fired inside and outside the bar, which he described as “very busy” at the time. He left open the possibility that there was more than one suspect. He said he believed at least one handgun was used.

Officials were still working to determine the identities of the people who died. Beth said two people died at the scene. The third person hopped in a car with two other people, who moments later flagged down a police vehicle. The officer drove the victim to a hospital where the victim was pronounced dead, Beth said.

The two people who were wounded by gunshots were taken to area hospitals. There may have been more people with less serious injuries, and the sheriff’s department has contacted local hospitals to find them, Beth said.

He said investigators are reviewing surveillance video from the scene. The tavern installed video cameras a couple years ago, Beth said, but he didn’t know if the surveillance video is from the business. 

A man who lives near the bar, Peter Ploskee, told WLS-TV he heard gun shots, looked out a window and saw “people running from the bar in every direction.” 

“It was just chaos,” he said. “People are just running, people screaming.”

It was the latest in a recent string of mass shootings across the country, including the killings of eight people at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis on Thursday. Last month, four people were killed at an office shooting in California, eight people were fatally shot at massage businesses in the Atlanta area, and 10 died in gunfire at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.

The nearby city of Kenosha was the scene of serious unrest last summer, after police shot a young Black man, Jacob Blake, leaving him paralyzed. A white Illinois teenager was accused of fatally shooting two people during the Kenosha protests. Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, is charged with homicide and attempted homicide in the Aug. 25 shootings. He has pleaded not guilty and says he fired in self-defense.

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