John Cooper, lead singer of Christian rock band Skillet, never thought he’d have to strap on an assault rifle to protect his family, but when buildings were burning blocks away in Kenosha, Wis., he felt he had no choice.
“It’s a horrible thing. I should be out playing concerts rocking the free world and instead I’m hunkered down, praying for the very people that I might have to hurt that night,” Cooper said Saturday on “Fox & Friends Weekend.”
“That’s something that Americans shouldn’t have to deal with,” he added. “I don’t want to hurt anybody. I’m praying for safety. Praying for them. Praying for their souls. I’m praying for racial justice. I want all those things. But you can’t come and threaten people’s family in America.”
The violence has quelled in the last 48 hours after the city accepted President Trump’s offer to bring in the National Guard.
“The problem is there is not enough condemnation against the violence, because when people are burning down your city and slashing your tires, threatening to … ‘f— up my neighborhood,’ now I can’t hear you,” Cooper told co-host Pete Hegseth.
The Kenosha resident described the community as a great place to raise a family and peaceful — until the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The 29-year-old Black man was shot seven times in the back by police earlier this week, sparking riots.
“It’s strange, because you see this stuff on the news on Portland or Seattle or New York City, Chicago. You see it and you think it can never happen in your town of Kenosha, Wisconsin,” he said.
Cooper said he received messages from friends and family in other cities warning that protetsters were posting on social media that they were heading to Kenosha to “f– up” neighborhoods and police.
The “Hero” singer said he is hopeful, after a prayer meeting with 14 pastors, that faith holds the answer to the violence.
“We believe there is one hope and it’s not a president. It is the hope in Jesus Christ that gives you a brand new heart to love people that don’t always love you back. And Jesus can change all of this,” Cooper said. “He brings peace.”