Rusten Sheskey (pictured), the Kenosha police
officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven
times last month, told investigators he thought
Blake was trying to abduct one of his own children
before he opened fire
The Kenosha police officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times last month told investigators he thought Blake was trying to abduct one of his own children before he opened fire.
Brendan Matthews, the attorney for Officer Rusten Sheskey and the Kenosha police union, offered his client's version of what went down during the August 23 shooting in an interview with CNN published Friday.
Matthews claimed that when Sheskey arrived at the scene in response to a call from a woman who said Blake was at her home and shouldn't be there, he heard a woman say: 'He's got my kid. He's got my keys.'
Sheskey saw Blake put a child in the SUV as he arrived, but he didn't know that two other children were also in the back seat, Matthews said.
He said Sheskey told investigators he opened fire because Blake 'held a knife in his hand and twisted his body toward' the officer, and that he didn't stop shooting until he determined Blake 'no longer posed an imminent threat'.
If Sheskey had allowed Blake to leave and something happened to the child, Matthews said: 'The question would have been: "Why didn't you do something?"'
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Blake (pictured) was left paralyzed after Sheskey shot
him seven times in the back in front of his three children
on August 23 in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Video showed the moment Sheskey opened fire on Blake as he responded to a call from a woman who claimed Blake shouldn't have been at her home. Sheskey's lawyer said the officer opened fire because Blake turned toward him with a knife
The bystander who recorded the shooting, 22-year-old Raysean White, said he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell: 'Drop the knife! Drop the knife!' before gunfire erupted. White said he didn't see a knife in Blake's hands.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is leading the investigation, previously said in a news release that a knife was found in the vehicle, but it didn't say whether Blake had been holding it at any point during the confrontation or whether police knew it was there before Sheskey shot him.
In a statement previously released by Matthews on behalf of the police union, Matthews said Blake was armed with a knife but that officers didn't see it until Blake reached the passenger side of the vehicle.
As Blake opened the driver's door of the SUV, Sheskey pulled on Blake's shirt and then opened fire. Three of Blake's children were in the backseat.
The mother of the three children, who called police that day, filed a complaint against Blake that had led to felony charges being filed in July accusing him of sexually assaulting a woman in May.
Blake, who was wanted on a warrant for those charges when police arrived at the scene August 23, pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month via video from from his hospital bed. A trial date was set for November 9.
Sheskey and the other two officers who were at the scene were placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Blake broke his silence for the first time since he was shot in a video from his hospital bed earlier this month (pictured). 'Your life, and not only just your life, your legs, something you need to move around and forward in life, can be taken from you like this, man,' he said