A Janesville teen was charged Monday with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in a recent shooting near Lincoln Elementary School that a prosecutor said left the victim needing five surgeries so far.
Rock County Court Commissioner Jack Hoag ordered Kenan L. Clemons, 17, held on a $50,000 cash bond after the teen also was charged with armed carjacking, burglary and misdemeanor theft.
Janesville police announced late Thursday they had arrested Clemons on charges related to the shooting of Trenton Strommen, 36, also of Janesville, on June 6 after a bike theft.
Clemons told police that after he and another teen stole a bike, Strommen caught up with them and threw the other teenager to the ground before Clemons shot Strommen multiple times, according to the criminal complaint.
Assistant District Attorney Mason Braunschweig said Strommen was “very, very fortunate to not be dead” and “may lose his arm.”
In arguing for a $100,000 cash bond, Braunschweig said the prosecution’s case included a confession.
Defense attorney Frank Raff said that amount was “obviously unconstitutionally high.” He argued Clemons was arrested five days after the shooting still in Janesville, a place the teen has lived for about 10 years.
Raff asked for a $5,000 bond.
Police and prosecutors have said Clemons and another teen June 6 stole a bike from Strommen’s garage, which prompted Strommen to get into his car and follow them to the 1900 block of Conde Street.
Earlier that afternoon, Clemons and the other teenager went to hang out with someone he knows and showed that person a gun, saying it was for his enemies and that he had “shells hot and ready,” according to the complaint.
Clemons’ mom later told police two of her guns were missing, the complaint states.
After the bike theft, one witness told police he heard Strommen say something to the effect of, “You stole the bike out of my yard you piece of s---,” the complaint states.
After hearing shots go off, the witness got his own handgun and went outside, where he soon helped with Strommen’s injuries before first responders arrived.
Clemons told police that when Strommen showed up, he cut them off in the street, the complaint states. Clemons said he then laid the bike down and told Strommen to take it, but Strommen kept yelling at them.
Clemons told police that as Strommen kept walking toward them, he backed up, pulled out his gun and took off the safety but did not fire, according to the complaint. But Clemons said Strommen grabbed the other teenager and slammed him onto the ground.
After they got up, Clemons said he shot Strommen twice, the complaint states. Strommen took cover behind another nearby car, but after that car drove away, Clemons shot Strommen three more times.
Clemons and the other boy took Strommen’s car and fled, according to the complaint.
The boys took the car to Afton, where they tried to go to a friend’s house, according to the complaint. But their request was denied, and Clemons later told police the car would not start again without a key fob, so they ran away into the nearby woods, where Clemons said he hid the gun and his phone.
Clemons’ mom also showed up to the area because her son messaged her saying, “pick me up on Afton Road,” the complaint states. She told police she had last seen her son that morning.
The other boy, 16, also was arrested Thursday, on suspicion of party to operating a vehicle without owner consent while armed, criminal damage to property and trespassing, police said.
Janesville police in a news release after the arrest listed the homicide charge as attempted second-degree intentional homicide, but the district attorney’s office chose the more serious first-degree charge.
After the shooting, Strommen was flown to a Madison hospital, according to the complaint, which says he had four surgeries to be stabilized. Braunschweig at Monday afternoon’s bond hearing said it was five surgeries so far.
A GoFundMe has been started to help pay for Strommen’s medical expenses and has raised more than $10,000.
Clemons will appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Monday, June 29, for a preliminary hearing.
This story was updated at 5:38 p.m. Monday with details from the criminal complaint.