Jacob Blake, the black man shot multiple times Sunday by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer, told investigators he had a knife in his possession at the time of the incident, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
The agency also said in a statement, issued Wednesday, that police recovered a knife in the floorboard of Blake’s vehicle, where he was shot in the back seven times.
The Wisconsin Justice Department did not provide additional details about Blake’s admission to having a knife, or whether officers believed he was armed before he was shot.
The Justice Department said that officers were dispatched to a residence in Kenosha after a woman reported that her boyfriend, Blake, “was present and was not supposed to be on the premises.”
Police officers attempted to arrest Blake, according to the Justice Department statement, and deployed a taser in an attempt to subdue him. The taser was ineffective, and Blake walked to his vehicle, where he opened the driver’s side door.
“While holding onto Mr. Blake’s shirt, Officer Rusten Sheskey fired his service weapon 7 times,” the statement says.
Sheskey, a seven-year veteran of the police force, fired the weapon into Blake’s back, according to the Justice Department.
Video of the incident shows officers following Blake to his vehicle, with one of the officers — Sheskey — firing multiple times at Blake after he opened the door of his vehicle. Blake’s children were reportedly in the vehicle when he was shot.
There have been conflicting accounts about whether Blake was breaking up a fight at the residence in Kenosha, or whether he was involved in an altercation himself.
“During the investigation following the initial incident, Mr. Blake admitted that he had a knife in his possession,” the Justice Department said.
Investigators “recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard of Mr. Blake’s vehicle,” according to the agency. No other weapons were located.
Blake’s shooting touched off a wave of violent protests in Kenosha, a city of around 100,000 near the Illinois border.
Two protesters were fatally shot Tuesday night in the city. Daily Caller reporters Richie McGinnis and Shelby Talcott witnessed the shooting. McGinnis provided aid to one of the victims.
Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in the shootings.
Rittenhouse told McGinnis before the shooting on Tuesday that he was in Kenosha to protect businesses in Kenosha from rioters.
“So people are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business, and a part of my job is to also help people,” Rittenhouse told McGinniss, the Daily Caller reporter. “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. But I also have my med kit.”