The Kenosha, Wisconsin, police officer who fired seven bullets at Jacob Blake’s back was identified by officials on Wednesday.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice said Officer Rusten Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the force, shot Blake, a 29-year-old father, on Sunday while attempting to arrest him.
Cops had been responding to a call from a woman who said her boyfriend showed up at her house, though he wasn’t supposed to be there.
When they moved to arrest Blake, the confrontation began.
One of the officers fired a Taser in a failed attempt to subdue Blake. The officers drew their firearms and followed Blake around his gray van.
As Blake opened the driver’s door, Sheskey grabbed his shirt and shot him seven times in the back.
At some point, Blake admitted to police that he had a knife in his possession. And officers recovered a knife under the driver’s side floorboard of his car, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said during a Wednesday news conference.
It was not clear when the knife was recovered. All officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.
Sheskey, who was once part of the department’s bike unit, gave an interview to the Kenosha News in August 2019 in which he described what he enjoyed about his job.
“What I like most is that you’re dealing with people on perhaps the worst day of their lives and you can try and help them as much as you can and make that day a little bit better,” the officer said.
“And that, for the most part, people trust us to do that for them. And it’s a huge responsibility, and I really like trying to help the people. We may not be able to make a situation right, or better, but we can maybe make it a little easier for them to handle during that time.”
Sheskey previously served as a cop at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, which he had attended as a student, according to his LinkedIn page.
In 2015, Sheskey was sued after he crashed his police car into a teenage girl driving a Jeep when he allegedly made an illegal left turn.
The girl said in her complaint that she suffered injuries to her head, neck and back. The lawsuit was resolved out of court and later dismissed, the Daily Beast reported.
The other officers involved will also be identified “soon,” Kaul said during the Wednesday news conference.
Kaul asked for residents to be patient while the investigation into the shooting continues.
“The investigation is moving quickly. We have conducted interviews of some of the material witnesses in this case, and that’s part of the reason we’re able to provide the information we provided today,” Kaul said.
“But the investigation is still ongoing,” he went on. “What is critical from our perspective is while we want to move as quickly as we can, that we do so consistently with a full and thorough investigation so that what comes at the end of this process is based on a full and thorough investigation.”