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Police: Janesville teen admits shooting man who tried to recover child’s bike

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JANESVILLE (WKOW) - A criminal complaint states a Janesville teenager admitted to shooting a man who was trying to recover his stepson's stolen bicycle.

An initial court appearance took place Monday for 17-year-old Kenan Clemons of Janesville. Clemons was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, armed carjacking, burglary and theft. Rock County Court Commissioner Jack Hoag set Clemons's bail at $50,000.

Authorities say Clemons shot 36-year-old Trenton Strommen near a Janesville school June 6 after Strommen found Clemons and his stepson's stolen bicycle.

"The victim has endured five surgeries so far, may lose his arm as a result of the shooting," Assistant Rock County District Attorney Mason Braunschweig says. "The victim was very, very fortunate to not be dead."

According to the complaint, police found and interviewed Clemons on June 11.

"The driver jumped out of the car and said they stole his kid's bike," the complaint says Clemons told interrogators. "Clemons laid the bike down and told him to take it,' the complaint says Clemons maintained. "The person kept yelling at them ... the guy grabbed (a friend) and slammed (the friend) off the bike he was riding ... Clemons shot the guy two times ... (then) shot him three more times," the complaint says.

The complaint says a person living in the neighborhood heard the victim confront Clemons and others before the shooting. "You stole the bike out of my yard you piece of (expletive)," the complaint says the neighbor heard Strommen say to Clemons and others.

The complaint also says a neighbor living near Strommen on Roosevelt Avenue saw the bike being stolen from Strommen's property and told Strommen what happened, prompting Strommen to drive off in search of the bike and the thief.

The complaint says after the shooting, Clemons and at least one other person took Strommen's sedan and drove off. Court records say the car was found in Afton close to Clemons's home. Court records say Clemons unsuccessfully asked his mother and another person to help conceal him.

Court records state one of Clemons's acquaintances had a connection to someone close to the victim and told police of his suspicions about Clemons's involvement in the shooting. The complaint states police discovered a loaded handgun belonging to Clemons' mother had been taken from its hiding place in her home sometime before the shooting.

Clemons' attorney unsuccessfully argued Clemons' high bail amounted to detention until trial and said Clemons deserved bail no higher than $5,000 as a nearly life-long Janesville resident with family members in the community.

Strommen remains at UW Hospital with his condition listed as good.

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Tony Galli

Reporter, WKOW

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