KENOSHA, Wisc. – Police in Wisconsin on Monday were piecing together what happened after three people died and three others were injured early Sunday in a shooting at a busy tavern.
Rakayo A. Vinson, 24, was arrested Sunday and remains in custody in Kenosha County Jail, the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Monday.
Online jail records show Vinson was facing one count of first-degree intentional homicide. Police said Sunday that they expected more charges to be filed.
Vinson’s arrest came after a manhunt involving about 100 officers, sheriff’s officials said.
Authorities initially said there may be more than one shooter but later said in a statement, “There is no threat to the community at this time.”
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department said the three people killed and three injured were all men. The department said there was one other “possible unknown shooting victim.”
The shooting unfolded early Sunday at the Somers House Tavern in Kenosha, a popular bar for students from nearby Carthage College.
The suspected shooter was a patron who “wasn’t cooperating with the management” at the tavern, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said in a morning news conference. The man left the bar and returned a short time later, about 12:45 a.m., and began shooting, he said.
Shots rang out inside and outside of the tavern. Beth said the suspect “knew who the victims were” and targeted them.
Police have not identified the victims.
Vinson is listed as homeless in jail logs, but as recently as 2019 court records showed he was a Racine resident. Vinson in 2018 pleaded no contest to carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor, and possession of marijuana, both as a repeater. He was sentenced to seven days in jail, online court records show. Another gun possession charge in 2018 was dismissed by prosecutors.
Students from Carthage College were at the bar at the time of the shooting, but none of the victims are believed to be students, the school said in a statement. The school locked down overnight.
One of the victims who died got into a car after being shot and was driven away from the scene by bystanders, Beth said. The driver flagged down an officer on the way, and the officer drove the person to a hospital. The person died before arriving.
Beth said the bar was “very busy” at the time of the shooting but did not know how many people were there.
Video taken by a bystander and posted to social media after the shooting shows a chaotic scene. Emergency crews took at least two people out of the tavern with injuries, and another victim was receiving CPR just outside the front door.
The rampage was the latest of several shooting attacks across the nation, including one in Austin, Texas, on Sunday that left three people dead and one at a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis last week that left eight people dead. Mass killings have claimed four or more American lives every week for the past six weeks, leaving dozens dead and several more people wounded.
The Kenosha shooting touched off a manhunt for suspects. Officers combed through neighborhood yards with flashlights and asked a nearby agency for a drone.
Peter Ploskee, 44, a neighbor who lives across the street said his doorbell camera captured footage of what he called a “shootout” between two groups. People got into vehicles and drove away quickly, he said.
Ploskee heard several gunshots from his home. He looked out his window and saw “cars taking off in every direction, people running in every direction.”
Then he saw more than a dozen squad cars arrive. Officers were walking house to house and “searching every property” for the suspects, Ploskee said.
Investigators conducted interviews, collected evidence from “several” crime scenes and gathered surveillance video from “extensive neighborhood canvasses,” the sheriff’s department said. Ploskee said police took the footage from his doorbell camera.
In response to the shooting, Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement that his “heart breaks” for Kenosha. He thanked the first responders working on the case and is “hoping and praying” those injured will recover.
“We are thinking of the families and loved ones affected and the entire Kenosha community as they grieve and grapple with yet another tragic incident of gun violence,” Evers said.
Kenosha was the scene of unrest last summer after a police officer shot Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed. The police officer who shot Blake in the back in August has returned to regular duty and won’t face criminal charges or administrative discipline.
An Illinois teen was accused of fatally shooting two people during protests sparked by Blake’s shooting. Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch is charged with homicide and attempted homicide.
Contributing: Elinor Aspegren and John Bacon, USA TODAY; Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Associated Press