3 Friends Killed in Wis. Bar Shooting Are ID'd, as Police Reveal Suspect Was Kicked Out of Tavern
A man who was asked to leave a Wisconsin tavern Saturday night because he'd been uncooperative allegedly returned to the busy nightspot and opened fire, killing three men who were friends and wounding at least three others, say authorities.
Kevin Donaldson, 22, Cedric Gaston, 24, and Atkeen Stevenson, 26, all of Kenosha, were killed in the shooting at Somers House Tavern in Somers, a village in Kenosha County, Sheriff David Beth said at a press conference Monday, local ABC affiliate WLS-TV reports.
On Monday, the Sheriff's Department announced that 24-year-old Rakayo Alandis Vinson had been arrested in connection with the shooting.
He is facing one count of first-degree intentional homicide with additional charges to follow pending further investigation, the sheriff's department said earlier on Monday in a media release.
It is unclear whether he knew the victims previously.
Vinson is being held in the Kenosha County Jail. He has not yet entered a plea.
It is not immediately known whether he has hired an attorney who can comment on his behalf.
Authorities are investigating whether more than one shooter was involved, the Associated Press reports.
The mass shooting began late Saturday night when Vinson was asked to leave the popular tavern because he "wasn't cooperating with the management," Beth said Monday.
A hangout for students from nearby Carthage College, the tavern was "very busy" on Saturday night, Beth said at a previous press conference.
At the press conference on Monday afternoon, Beth said that "there was a scuffle between the three men involved and our suspect," the Kenosha News reports.
After getting "removed from the establishment," the suspect "left the bar" and then at about 12:42 a.m., "came back and started shooting," Beth alleged.
Heidi Wittwer was there when shots rang out.
"At first, there was a fight that broke out between two individuals right next to the bar," Wittwer told WLS-TV.
When shots were fired, "We were told to duck, and then everyone started running and we all just ran very fast," Wittwer said.
Two of the men died at the tavern, Beth said Monday, while the third died as a result of gunfire outside the bar.
The third victim got into a car with two people and drove away before he died, he said.
Three men, ages 22, 23, and 26, were seriously injured in the shooting, the department said in a release.
Multiple other people suffered minor injuries, Beth said.
The incident was the latest in a string of mass shootings across the country.
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As police investigate, the victims' loved ones are mourning their loss.
"At the end of the day, it doesn't even make sense," Cedrick Gaston's brother, Cartier Gaston, told local ABC affiliate WLS-TV. "It doesn't make sense to me at all for somebody else to come and take his life."
"I love my brother dearly. He's my everything," Cartier Gaston added.
Describing the three victims as "the most kind-hearted" people, Azriel Raasch told Fox6. "It's just so hard to explain because they loved everybody, even if they didn't know you."