KENOSHA, Wis. (WTVO) — A lawyer for the police officer who shot Jacob Blake says the officer heard a woman yell, “He’s got my kid. He’s got my keys,” and was acting to prevent a possible child kidnapping.
Attorney Brendan Matthews told CNN Officer Rusten Sheskey used deadly force during the encounter, saying if Blake had been allowed to drive away and something happened to the child, “the question would have been, ‘why didn’t you do something?'”
Cellphone video of the shooting went viral, igniting days of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Blake remains paralyzed from the waist down.
Wisconsin authorities said the results of an investigation by the state’s Department of Justice would soon be turned over to an independent consultant for review.
According to CNN, Matthews said he does not usually talk publicly about pending cases but felt it was necessary to counter a “incomplete, inaccurate” narrative about the Blake shooting.
Matthews also said that at the moment Sheskey opened fire, Blake had a knife in his hand and twisted his body toward the officer. A knife was found inside the car, on the floorboard, by investigators.
A dispatch log reported that Sheskey and Officer Vincent Arenas responded to a call from a woman who said Blake had taken her keys and wouldn’t give them back. Sheskey told investigators when he arrived on the scene, he saw Blake put one child in the car but was unaware there were other children in the car.
According to police, Blake was un-cooperative with officers and actively resisted them. A taser allegedly had no effect, and Blake is said to have fought with officers, placing Sheskey in a headlock.
Police tased Blake a second time, according to police, at which point officers noticed he was holding a knife, and demanded he drop the weapon. When Blake then went around the car to the driver’s side door, where the shooting occurred, in which Sheskey shot Blake seven times.
CNN also reported a similar incident happened at the same house three months prior, in which Blake’s ex-girlfriend said he had taken her car and debit card without permission, and made $1,000 in withdrawals.
Blake was not charged with taking the car or the money, but was charged with sexual assault in the incident.
Matthews told CNN Sheskey did not know details of the past incident, but was aware that Blake was a wanted subject.
Matthews also contradicted reports that Blake had been shot in the back, saying responding officers said they saw gunshot wounds to Blake’s arm, side and abdomen. The location of the gunshot wounds has not yet been made public.