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Authorities identify police officer who shot Kenosha man

Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department, shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while holding onto his shirt after officers unsuccessfully used a Taser on him, the Wisconsin Justice Department said Wednesday.

Protesters march in Kenosha Wednesday, three days after police officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Three days after a Wisconsin police officer shot a 29-year-old father of six, seriously wounding him, state authorities identified the officer as Rusten Sheskey.

Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the Kenosha Police Department, shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back while holding onto his shirt after officers unsuccessfully used a Taser on him, the Wisconsin Justice Department said Wednesday.

State authorities said they later recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of the vehicle.

Sheskey shot Blake as he leaned into his SUV with three of his children seated inside. Kenosha police have said little about what happened other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute.

Officers were dispatched to a Kenosha home after a female caller reported her boyfriend was there although he was not supposed to be. Some witnesses said Blake was trying to break up a fight.

No other officers fired the weapons, and all those involved in Sunday’s incident have been placed on administrative leave, according to the Wisconsin Justice Department.

The state agency also noted the Kenosha Police Department does not equip its officers with body cameras. But cell phone video taken by a witness shows Blake being shot as he tried to get into his car, where three of his sons - ages 3, 5 and 8 - waited for him.

“Law enforcement immediately provided medical aid” to Blake, who was airlifted to a hospital in Milwaukee, state authorities said.

Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times his son is paralyzed from the waist down. One of the attorneys representing the family said Blake’s injuries include bullet wounds to his spinal cord and stomach; his colon and small intestine were removed; and he suffered damage to his kidney and liver.

No charges were announced, and state officials continue to investigate.