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17-year-old arrested after two shot dead at protest in Wisconsin, USA

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Police clear a park during clashes with protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse late Tuesday, Aug. 25
Police clear a park during clashes with protesters outside the Kenosha County Courthouse late Tuesday, Aug. 25   -   Copyright  AP Photo/David Goldman
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A 17-year-old has been arrested after two people were shot dead during a third night of protests in Wisconsin, USA.

The teenager was taken into custody on Wednesday in neighbouring Illinois on suspicion of first-degree homicide.

Two people died on Tuesday night's shooting and a third person was injured.

In footage caught on camera, a young white man is seen firing a semi-automatic weapon into a street crowded with protesters, after he was chased.

The shootings happened in the city of Kenosha, where protests have been raging since a police officer was filmed shooting a black man multiple times, apparently in the back.

Police shooting of Jacob Blake

Jacob Blake, 29, was shot on Sunday as he leaned into his car, where three of his children were seated inside.

Kenosha police have said little about what happened other than that they were responding to a domestic dispute. They have not said whether Blake was armed, and they have not disclosed the race of three officers on the scene.

On Tuesday, Ben Crump, the lawyer for Blake’s family, said it would “take a miracle” for Blake to walk again. He called for the officer who opened fire to be arrested and for the others involved to lose their jobs.

The shooting ignited new protests in the country, just three months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which sparked worldwide protests over racial injustice and police brutality.

Since the shooting of Blake, protesters have destroyed dozens of buildings, set fires and hurled objects at police, who responded with tear gas on three straight nights.

FBI investigating

The suspect arrested on Wednesday for the Tuesday night killings of protesters is a white, 17-year-old, whose Facebook page is devoted to praising law enforcement, with references to Blue Lives Matter, a movement that supports police. He also can be seen holding an assault rifle.

The dead were identified only as a 26-year-old resident of Silver Lake, Wisconsin, and a 36-year-old from Kenosha. The wounded person, a 36-year-old from West Allis, Wisconsin, was expected to survive, police said.

“We were all chanting ‘Black lives matter’ at the gas station and then we heard, boom, boom, and I told my friend, `‘That’s not fireworks,’” 19-year-old protester Devin Scott told the Chicago Tribune. “And then this guy with this huge gun runs by us in the middle of the street and people are yelling, ‘He shot someone! He shot someone!’ And everyone is trying to fight the guy, chasing him and then he started shooting again.”

Scott said he cradled a lifeless victim in his arms, and a woman started performing CPR, but “I don’t think he made it.”

According to witness accounts and video footage posted online, police apparently let the young man responsible for the shootings walk past them with a rifle over his shoulder with his hands in the air as members of the crowd were yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people.

Sheriff David Beth told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that armed vigilantes had been patrolling Kenosha's streets in recent nights, but he did not know if the gunman was among them.

However, video taken before the shooting showed police tossing bottled water from an armored vehicle to what appear to be armed civilians walking the streets. And one of them appears to be the gunman.

“We appreciate you being here,” an officer is heard saying to the group over a loudspeaker.

The sheriff later defended officers by saying, “Our deputies would toss water to anybody.”

The FBI said it is assisting in the case.