3 friends killed in Wisconsin bar shooting identified

"This was literally over a very minor dispute that happens in a busy bar across this country every night that people are out celebrating or socializing,” said Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley.

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Three Kenosha men were gunned down in one of the latest mass shootings to rattle the country on Sunday.

Those men were identified by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department as 22-year-old Kevin T. Donaldson, 24-year-old Cedric D. Gaston, and 26-year-old Atkeem D. Stevenson. In a Monday press statement, Kenosha police also identified the suspect as 24-year-old Rakayo A. Vinson.

The shooting occurred shortly after midnight on April 18 at the Somer’s House Tavern restaurant. According to police reports, the shooting followed a physical altercation between Vinson and the three young men while in the crowded restaurant. After being taken outside by the tavern owner, Vinson returned inside and fired into the crowd. In the end, six people were shot: three of them being the deceased victims and three patrons were injured. 

Kenosha Cedric Gaston Kevin Donaldson Atkeen Stevenson thegrio.com
Cedric Gaston, Kevin Donaldson and Atkeen Stevenson (Credit: Facebook)

Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth also said in a press conference on Sunday that the police believed the suspect “knew who he was targeting”.

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“This was literally over a very minor dispute that happens in a busy bar across this country every night that people are out celebrating or socializing,” said Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. On Monday, Kenosha police arrested Vinson who is now facing charges for first-degree homicide and is in the custody of the Kenosha County Jail. His bail is set at $4 million.

Rakayo Vinson thegrio.com
Rakayo Vinson (Credit: KENOSHA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT)

As family and friends grieve, more details are emerging about the short lives of the three friends and Kenosha natives killed at the scene. Donaldson was a rap artist known as GBG KEVO. Those who remembered him on social media described Donaldson as having a dedication to his craft and raw talent.

Lee Campbell, a friend of Stevenson told Kenosha News he was  “everybody’s spark” and that he was “always laughing, always cracking jokes and everyone liked him.” Gaston was the father of a young son who recently started a new job.

A GoFundMe has been set up to pay for funeral expenses.

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Since the horrific Atlanta Spa Shootings that took place on March 16, the United States has witnessed 50 mass shootings to date, according to CNN reporting and analysis of data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA). For weeks, Americans have been reeling from similar tragedies across the country.  In California, four people, including one child, were killed in early April while inside an Orange County office building.

Eight people were slain at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis on April 15. One person was killed and five others were injured following a shooting outside a Columbus, Ohio Dollar General on April 17. In another incident that same day, nine children were also shot at a 12-year-old’s birthday party in La Place, Louisiana.

On Tuesday, another shooting was reported in West Hempstead, New York after a suspect opened fire inside a manager’s office within a Shop and Stop grocery store, claiming the life of at least one person. Kenosha and others join a long list of cities with investigations into such shootings underway.

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