Asked to Leave Tavern, He Returned and Killed 3

Man convicted in April incident
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 19, 2021 3:41 AM CDT
Updated Jan 19, 2022 12:00 AM CST
Asked to Leave Tavern, He Returned and Killed 3
Flowers and a card are left near the scene of an early Sunday fatal shooting at Somers House Tavern in Kenosha, Wis., on Sunday, April 18 2021.   (Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel via AP)

(Newser) Update: The man accused of killing three people and wounding three others in an April shooting at a bar in Wisconsin was found guilty on all charges Tuesday, the AP reports. The jury came back with the verdict in less than two hours, including a break for pizza, after the closing arguments in the trial of Rakayo Vinson, 25, who was charged in the deaths of 24-year-old Cedric Gaston; 26-year-old Atkeem Stevenson; and 22-year-old Kevin Donaldson, all of Kenosha. Authorities said Vinson and Donaldson exchanged punches earlier in the evening at the Somers House Tavern in the village of Somers. Surveillance video later shows Vinson walking to the patio of the bar and opening fire before fleeing. Vinson was convicted of three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Each count carries a mandatory life prison sentence. A sentencing hearing is set for March 28. Our original story from April 19, 2021, follows:

Authorities say they have apprehended a person in connection with a shooting at a busy tavern in southeastern Wisconsin early Sunday that left three men dead and three men injured, the AP reports. Kenosha County Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. David Wright said the suspect is facing a charge of first-degree intentional homicide, with additional criminal charges likely after further investigation. Authorities said earlier they weren't sure if there was more than one shooter. “There is no threat to the community at this time,” Wright said in a release. He said no further information on the suspect would be released Sunday. Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said earlier a suspect was asked to leave the Somers House Tavern in Kenosha County but returned and opened fire. Beth said shots were fired inside and outside the bar, which he described as “very busy” at the time.

He said he believed at least one handgun was used. Officials originally said two people were injured but said they were checking with hospitals for people who may have been hurt in the shooting. Wright said in the updated release that authorities believe there is one “possible unknown shooting victim.” Beth said two people died at the scene. The third person hopped in a car with two other people, who moments later flagged down a police vehicle. The officer drove the victim to a hospital where that person was pronounced dead, Beth said. Wright called it a complex investigation that involves several crime scenes. “Detectives have followed up on multiple leads and gathered surveillance video evidence during extensive neighborhood canvasses,” he said.

(Read more Wisconsin stories.)

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