- Three people were shot and two were killed on Tuesday during another night of unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
- On Wednesday, authorities arrested and charged a 17-year-old with first-degree intentional homicide in connection to the shootings, though they did not say if he was being charged for one or both of the fatalities.
- Video footage from the night shows the suspect running from a group of people before seemingly shooting a man who lunged at him in the head. After that, he ran from the scene and was heard telling someone on the phone: “I just killed somebody.”
- The footage then shows the suspect being chased by more people shouting “that’s the shooter.” He appeared to fall, and as three people rushed him, he fired three shots, hitting one person in the chest and another in the arm.
- The suspect then ran down the block to where police were stationed, lifting his arms up in apparent surrender, but multiple police cars drove right past him, reportedly to go aid the victims.
17-Year-Old Charged in Shooting
A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide on Wednesday in connection to three shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that left two dead and one injured.
The shootings took place on Tuesday, marking the third night of unrest in the city following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was shot in the back by a police officer seven times. Despite an 8 p.m. county-mandated curfew, many people took to the streets, including groups of armed civilians.
Some of those individuals were described by the reporters as armed counterprotesters, but others were self-declared militia members who police also described as vigilante militia groups.
Many of the armed people claimed they were there to protect the city, but as the night progressed, those groups could be seen facing off with protestors. Then at 11:45 p.m., three people were shot, according to police.
Timeline of Events
Little has been confirmed by authorities about what happened leading up to the incident and after it. However, because the alleged shooter appears in a number of videos taken throughout the night, some outlets have been able to piece together a timeline, including the New York Times, which has used available footage to track the suspect throughout the night.
A few hours before the shooting, the suspect appeared in several interviews with people on the ground, the Times reported.
One of the most circulated clips of the alleged shooter was taken by a videographer with the conservative blog The Daily Caller.
“People are getting injured, our job is to protect this business, and part of my job is to also help people,” the suspect said in the video. “If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself, obviously. I also have my med kit.”
According to the Times, about 15 minutes before the first shooting, police officers offered water to a group of armed civilians that included the alleged shooter. Video footage shows the suspect then walking up to police vehicles and talking to the officers.
“We appreciate you guys, we really do,” an officer told the group through a megaphone.
Six minutes after that, per the timeline outlined by the Times, footage showed the suspect being chased by a group of people into the parking lot of a car dealership. As he ran an unknown gunman fired into the air. The suspect turned towards the sound of that gunfire and someone lunged toward him from that direction.
He fired four times and seemed to hit the person in the head. Video taken shortly after that shows him running away from the person he just shot in the head while talking on the phone.
“I just killed somebody,” he can be heard saying as he runs.
Several people chased him as he fleed the scene, and some were heard shouting, “That’s the shooter!”
While running, the suspect appeared to trip and fall. Three people came toward him and he fired four shots. One person seemed to be hit in the chest and fell to the ground, and another, who was carrying a handgun, was hit in the arm.
The Times also pointed out that the suspect’s gunfire was “mixed in with the sound of at least 16 other gunshots,” adding, “As this happens, police vehicles just one block away remain stationary during the gunfire.”
The footage then showed the suspect walking towards the police vehicles with his hands up — seemingly surrendering. Bystanders can be heard yelling to the officers and saying he had just shot people, but multiple police vehicles drove by him without stopping, reportedly to go help the victims.
Arrest & Background
The following morning, officials arrested the suspect in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, just 20 minutes southwest Kenosha.
Authorities have not yet said if he is being charged for both of the fatal shootings or just one. Notably, a police complaint filed in Illinois also said that after committing homicide in Wisconsin, the suspect fled “with the intent to avoid prosecution for that offense.”
He is currently being held in Illinois awaiting a trial that would extradite him to Wisconsin, where he will be tried as an adult under the state’s laws.
Following the arrest, more information began to surface about the alleged shooter. According to BuzzFeed News, which looked into his social media profiles, the suspect appeared obsessed with law enforcement and was a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump and Blue Lives matter. The outlet also obtained a photo of him that appears to show him at a Trump rally at the start of this year.
Authorities have not said if he was a part of any of the militia groups that were in Kenosha Tuesday night, and the Anti-Defamation League also told reporters that there is no indication from his social media accounts that he was connected to any extremist movements.
Editor’s Note: Rogue Rocket has chosen not to include the name or photo of the suspect in this case and therefor will not be linking to other sources, as they may contain these details.
Florida Cracks Down on “Vaccine Tourism”
- Florida is now requiring that people show proof of either full-time or part-time residency in the state in order to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The state has been hit with “vaccine tourism” as many people, predominantly wealthy individuals, fly to the state from other parts of the U.S. and abroad just to get the shot.
- So far, nearly 41,000 of the 1.3 million doses administered in Florida went to out-of-staters, though it is unclear if all those people were tourists or if this figure includes some part-time residents.
Florida Requires Proof of Residency
Florida is cracking down on “vaccine tourism” and requiring that people show proof of either full-time or part-time residency in the state in order to get a COVID-19 shot.
Previously the state was allowing anyone 65 and older, including non-residents, to get the vaccine. This resulted in people flying to the Sunshine State from across the U.S. and abroad just for the purpose of receiving it.
According to state data, nearly 41,000 of the 1.3 million doses Florida has administered have gone to out-of-staters. It is unclear if all these out-of-staters are tourists or if this figure includes some part-time residents.
Now, people must show a form of identification like a driver’s license or mortgage payment to receive it. Exceptions will be made for healthcare workers.
Vaccine Supply Continues to Be Limited
Wealthy people in particular were quick to schedule travel plans to Florida for this reason. According to the Wall Street Journal, there was an influx of Canadians booking private jets to Florida. Some were looking to book flights there and back on the same day, leaving just enough time for them to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Meanwhile, people in Florida and across the country are waiting in long lines and struggling to book appointments on glitching websites to get their shots. Vaccine supply continues to be incredibly limited and not everyone in high-risk groups have received them.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said this rule is not made to impact snowbirds, people who live in Florida during the winter to escape cold weather up north.
“They go to doctors here or whatever, that’s fine, DeSantis said, according to CNN. “What we don’t want is tourists, foreigners. We want to put seniors first, but we obviously want to put people that live here first in line.”
See what others are saying: (Wall Street Journal) (CNN) (Travel + Leisure)
Amanda Gorman Wows the Nation With “The Hill We Climb”
- Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet, impressed the nation when she read “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration, making her the youngest inaugural poet in the nation’s history.
- Gorman’s said the Jan. 6 attack on the nation’s Capitol inspired her to focus on a message of hope, community, and healing in her poem.
- Big names like Oprah Winfrey, Anderson Cooper, Barack Obama, and Lin-Manuel Miranda have all praised her work.
Amanda Gorman Becomes Youngest Inaugural Poet
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman wowed the nation on Wednesday as she spoke of healing, unity, hope, and what it means to be American while reading her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
At 22-years-old Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in the nation’s history. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she was the youth poet laureate of Los Angeles in 2014 at the age of 16. She then became the first national youth poet laureate in 2017.
Now, her books are topping Amazon’s Best Sellers list and they are not even scheduled to be released until the fall.
First Lady Dr. Jill Biden became a fan of Gorman after watching her give a reading at the Library of Congress. She then suggested that Gorman be a part of the ceremony.
“Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true: That even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped That even as we tired, we tried,” Gorman recited during inauguration. “That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious. Not because we will never again know defeat but because we will never again sow division.”
Like President Biden, Gorman has struggled with a speech impediment and has been open about her experience overcoming it. She actually used poetry as a tool to correct it. First, she used it as a way of expressing herself without having to speak. Then she used it to bring her poems to life.
“Once I arrived at the point in my life in high school, where I said, ‘you know what? Writing my poems on the page isn’t enough for me,” she told CBS News. “I have to give them breath, and life, I have to perform them as I am.’ That was the moment that I was able to grow past my speech impediment.”
What Inspired “The Hill We Climb”
Gorman said the inaugural committee gave her freedom and flexibility when it came to choosing what to write about. She was well on her way before the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Those events then influenced her writing.
“It energized me even more to believe that much more firmly in a message of hope, community and healing. I felt like that was the type of poem that I needed to write and it was the type of poem that the country and the world needed to hear,” she told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
That message came across clearly and the insurrection was depicted in part of “The Hill We Climb.”
“It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it. We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy and this effort very nearly succeeded,” she said. “But while democracy can be periodically delayed it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith we trust. For while we have our eyes on the future history has its eyes on us.”
Nation Impressed by Gorman
“Wow…Wow, I just, wow you’re awesome,” Cooper said when closing his interview with her. “I am so transfixed.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda also cheered Gorman on. “The Hill We Climb” notably references a line of scripture that appears in a “Hamilton” song. Gorman also said she used to sing the song “Aaron Burr, Sir” to help her say her R sounds and correct her speech impediment.
“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise!” Oprah Winfrey wrote. “Brava Brava Amanda Gorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I.”
Winfrey also gave Gorman a ring with a caged bird on it—a reference to the famous Angelou poem— which Gorman wore during the inauguration.
Actor Mark Ruffalo joined the onslaught of praise, saying that her words will lead the nation.
Former President Barack Obama echoed that idea as well, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Gorman promised to run for president one day.
See what others are saying: (CBS News) (New York Times) (Los Angeles Times)
SAT Drops Subject Tests and Optional Essay Section
- The College Board will discontinue SAT subject tests effective immediately and will scrap the optional essay section in June.
- The organization cited the coronavirus pandemic as part of the reason for accelerating these changes.
- Regarding subject tests, the College Board said the other half of the decision rested on the fact that Advanced Placement tests are now more accessible to low-income students and students of color, making subject tests unnecessary.
- It also said it plans to launch a digital version of the SAT in the near future, despite failing to implement such a plan last year after a previous announcement.
College Board Ends Subject Tests and Optional Essay
College Board announced Tuesday that it will scrap the SAT’s optional essay section, as well as subject tests.
Officials at the organization cited the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the reason for these changes, saying is has “accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to simplify our work and reduce demands on students.”
The decision was also made in part because Advanced Placement tests, which College Board also administers, are now available to more low-income students and students of color. Thus, College Board has said this makes SAT subject tests unnecessary.
While subject tests will be phased out for international students, they have been discontinued effective immediately in the U.S.
Regarding the optional essay, College Board said high school students are now able to express their writing skills in a variety of ways, a factor which has made the essay section less necessary.
With several exceptions, it will be discontinued in June.
The Board Will Implement an Online SAT Test
In its announcement, College Board also said it plans to launch a revised version of the SAT that’s aimed at making it “more flexible” and “streamlined” for students to take the test online.
In April 2020, College Board announced it would be launching a digital SAT test in the fall if schools didn’t reopen. The College Board then backtracked on its plans for a digital test in June, before many schools even decided they would remain closed.
According to College Board, technological challenges led to the decision to postpone that plan.
For now, no other details about the current plan have been released, though more are expected to be revealed in April.