'It's a miracle he's still alive': Jacob Blake, father of six, in stable condition after being shot by Kenosha police

MILWAUKEE — Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man shot multiple times in the back by a Kenosha police officer, underwent surgery Sunday night and was in stable condition Monday, his family and attorney said.

A bystander's video of the incident appears to show the officer grab Blake by the back of his shirt as he tried to get into a small SUV, then shoot him seven times at point-blank range. The shooting led to unrest in Kenosha on Sunday night and Monday night.

"We all watched the horrific video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back several times by Kenosha police," nationally known civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said in a news release.

"Even worse, his three sons witnessed their father collapse after being riddled with bullets," said Crump, who is representing Blake. "It's a miracle he's still alive."

In an interview later Monday, Crump said Blake remained in stable condition.

The family of Jacob Blake, pictured here, is raising money online for his medical and legal expenses.
The family of Jacob Blake, pictured here, is raising money online for his medical and legal expenses.

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“At this point, we’re still waiting for the facts to be confirmed,” Crump told the Journal Sentinel. “But we know what we saw in that video, and it was clearly an excessive use of force that was shocking and outrageous and devastating and nobody’s more devastated than his three sons.”

Blake's sons, who were inside the vehicle at the time of the shooting, are ages 8, 5 and 3, Crump said.

“You can only imagine the psychological problems these babies are going to have for the rest of their lives," he said.

Blake's family launched an online fundraising effort Monday, quickly raising more than $150,000 in donations by late afternoon. A regional representative with GoFundMe confirmed the account was authentic.

"As we fight for justice and understanding, our family has and will face many trials during this time," the family wrote on the GoFundMe website. "Jacob Blake is a loving father of six that deserves proper medical attention and legal representation."

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Jacob Blake is pictured with his children.
Jacob Blake is pictured with his children.

Blake's father, also named Jacob Blake, shared gratitude for the outpouring of support in a video shared widely on social media.

"I want to thank everybody for their prayers and their concerns," he said. "No matter what the (expletive) they say, doesn't justify shooting my son in the back eight times. ...After surgery, (he) is stable. Stable. Still here."

Neighbors who live near the shooting scene described Blake as a friendly, fun-loving person who often was seen with his children.

“It’s just awful,” said Stella London, 82, who heard the gunfire Sunday night.

Blake often greeted her as he passed by her home, she said.

“When you have never seen nothing like this before, it’s hard," she said.

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Two neighbors who did not want to share their names for fear of retaliation said they often spent time with Blake in the mornings. He had helped one of them with some car trouble just a few weeks ago.

“He’d be out here with us right now," said one of them Monday morning. "It’s a bad dream. I’m just waiting for him to come outside.”

One of the neighbors said Blake had been barbecuing with his kids Sunday evening. That neighbor went to the store and returned 15 minutes later to see Blake trying to break up a fight.

Police arrived and wanted to talk with Blake, but he wasn't interested and started putting his kids in the car to leave, the neighbor said.

A female neighbor who also declined to give her name said she saw two women arguing Sunday evening, but not physically fighting. One of them called the police, she said.

Other neighbors told the Kenosha News that Blake appeared to be trying to break up an altercation between two women.

Kenosha police and the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is leading the investigation, did not provide more information Monday about the shooting. Kenosha police issued a news release Sunday evening saying officers had been sent to the apartment for a “domestic incident."

Contributing: Sophie Carson, Elliot Hughes and Talis Shelbourne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Follow Ashley Luthern on Twitter at @aluthern.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Jacob Blake in stable condition after Kenosha police shooting