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Fact check: Owner of burned Kenosha car dealership did not die by suicide

Posts shared on Facebook show an alleged screenshot of a Fox Business article with the headline “Kenosha car dealer kills himself after his insurance won’t cover a cent of the 2.5 million dollars of damages caused by the riots.” Created by a meme generator, this is a fake news story making a false claim.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Posts making this claim can be found here , here , and here .

This claim has circulated amid unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the filmed wounding of Jacob Blake, a Black man shot several times by a white police officer on August 23. As protests against police brutality flared, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers ordered National Guard troops deployed to Kenosha on Aug. 24 ( here ) before declaring a state of emergency the following day ( here ). On Aug. 27, a teenager named Kyle Rittenhouse was charged in Aug. 25 shootings that led to the death of two people and injury of another ( here ).

The posts sharing the purported news article screenshot began circulating around Sept. 11 ( here ) . The subheading includes a grammatical error (writing Kenosha as “kenosha”) and a spelling mistake (describing close family members as “devistated” rather than devastated).

In addition, the image appears to contain a watermark in the bottom right corner for the meme website iFunny ( ifunny.co/ ), suggesting that the creator of this content used the website to generate the alleged screenshot. The Reuters Fact Check team could not find any stories about the suicide of a Kenosha car dealership owner on Fox Business ( www.foxbusiness.com/ ), Fox News ( www.foxnews.com/ ), or any other mainstream news site.

The two images in the fabricated screenshot—one of cars on fire and one of burnt out cars—are authentic and show real damage to a Kenosha car dealership amid the unrest Blake’s shooting. The image of the burning cars on the left comes from an Aug. 24 video tweeted by a user named Drew Hernandez (@livesmattershow) with the caption “Up close look at the car dealership fire set by BLM arsonists in Wisconsin” ( here ). The image of the damage on the right was uploaded to Wikipedia Commons on Aug. 28 by a user named Lightburst with the caption “Completely burned out car dealership Car Source Kenosha Burned out car lot 5821 Sheridan Rd, Kenosha, WI 53140.”

Both the Twitter video and the Wikipedia image show a Kenosha used car business called Car Source. The claim about the dealership owner incurring “2.5 million dollars of damages caused by the riots” likely stems from a Sept. 2 report by local ABC-affiliate WKOW ( here ). In the article, which includes a video of owner Anmol Khindri surveying the damage, WKOW cites Khindri as saying that protesters setting fire to cars in his lot caused $1.5 million in damages on the night of Aug. 24 and another $1 million on Aug. 25. Khindri is also filmed saying that his insurance provider will not cover the damage caused by the riots.

On Aug. 25, the day after the first night of destruction at Car Source, Fox Business did publish a story ( here ) on damages to the dealership with the headline “Kenosha car dealership sustained $1.5M in damage after first night of riots, report says,” citing local affiliate FOX 6 Milwaukee ( here ). Neither report mentions anything about a suicide.

While Reuters was unable to reach Khindri to confirm that the claim was false, USA Today published a fact check article on Sept. 11 ( here ) stating that Khindri’s mother, Suman Khindri, and his father, Anil Khindri, both confirmed to USA Today that the report of a suicide was incorrect.

VERDICT

False. Though the owner of a Kenosha car dealership did reportedly incur $2.5 million in damages amid the unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, he did not die by suicide. The alleged Fox Business screenshot featured in the posts is inauthentic.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work  here .

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