Kyle Howard Rittenhouse Antioch, Illinois teen i’d as Kenosha gunman who shot 2 BLM protesters dead. Social media shows Donald Trump & gun fanatic – while video raises question- was teen just acting in self defense?
A 17-year-old gunman & Donald Trump supporter has been arrested and charged with the shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin that left two BLM protesters dead and another injured in a possible vigilante attack during the third night of unrest in the city following Sunday’s police shooting of black man, Jacob Blake.
Kyle Howard Rittenhouse was arrested on Wednesday afternoon in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois and charged with first degree intentional homicide. Court records say the teenager ‘fled the state of Wisconsin with the intent to avoid prosecution for that offense’. Antioch is about 15 miles from Kenosha.
Two people were shot dead just before midnight on Tuesday – one in the head and one in the chest. One of the slain men was identified as Anthony Huber of Kenosha County. A GoFundme page said Huber died trying to stop the shooter. A third man, a 36-year-old from West Allis, Wisconsin, Gaige Paul Grosskreutz was shot in the arm but his wounds were not believed to life-threatening The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
The teenager’s arrest came hours after video footage emerged (see below) showing Rittenhouse walking up to police with his hands in the air and his semi-automatic rifle slung across his body just moments after the shooting. He was apparently allowed to walk by despite members of the crowd yelling for him to be arrested because he had shot people, according to witness accounts and video footage.
Told the teen gunman who was unknowingly interviewed by media prior to Tuesday night’s shootings, ‘If people are getting injured, our job is to protect this business and part of my job is to also help people,’ adding, ‘If somebody is hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself obviously, but I also have my med kit.’
This is Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, an Illinois resident who was just charged with first-degree murder of two people last night in Kenosha, Wisconsin. This teen, whose social media history is full of misogyny and white supremacy, had easy access to an AR-15.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 26, 2020
Militia gunman who joined anti white protesters protecting property
Witness accounts and video show that the shootings took place in two stages: The gunman first shot someone at a car lot, then jogged away, stumbled and fell in the street, and opened fire again as members of the crowd closed in him – with claims he had only been acting in self defense when rioters had set upon the gun wielding teen. Police apparently then let the young man walk past them with a rifle over his shoulder with his hands in the air.
Asked how Rittenhouse was able to leave the area following Tuesday night’s shooting, Kenosha County Sheriff Dave Beth in a news conference said that an officer may not have been aware what exactly was going on, saying, ‘There was screaming, there’s hollering, there’s chanting, there’s a squad car running, there’s (police vehicles) idling. If the officer happened to be in the car, the radio traffic was nonstop.’
Beth said Rittenhouse had been with a group of white males who came to Kenosha to defend property after Black Lives Matter protesters had caused a series of arson fires and other property damage throughout the city since demonstrations broke out Sunday night.
The shootings erupted the evening of August 25 as demonstrators and counter-demonstrators milled in the streets and were pushed back from a park and courthouse by authorities. A series of clashes unfolded, and witnesses and videos show several different incidents of gunfire erupting in sequence and from different angles (see above video) – raising debate whether the shootings were aggressive in nature or simply self defense?
Kenosha teen gunman social media devoted to guns, Trump & police
Much of Rittenhouse’s (since deleted) Facebook account according to heavy was filled with pro law enforcement memes, Blue Lives Matter – the movement that supports police. He also can be seen holding an assault rifle in several photos. The teen’s social media accounts also showed the gunman as an ardent advocate of President Trump.
Rittenhouse’s TikTok describing his bio as the following: “BLUE LIVES MATTER 🔵” and “Trump 2020 🇺🇸 🇺🇸”. In a posted video, the teen was in the front row at a recent rally for President Donald Trump. “Trump rally!” the caption says. It’s one of only two videos on his page. He worked as a lifeguard at a YMCA, according to Buzzfeed. The rally was in Des Moines, Iowa, in January.
He once participated in a youth public safety cadet program and a photo from that time showed him dressed in what appears to be a blue law enforcement uniform. The cadet program, offered via Hainesville Police Department, according to its site, ‘offers boys and girls the opportunity to explore a career in law enforcement’ through ‘hands-on career activities,’ such as riding along with officers on patrol and firearms training — and of course now the opportunity to become a budding domestic terrorist.
‘I’ve just killed somebody’.
Rittenhouse, identified in court papers as a lifeguard at a YMCA in Lindenhurst, Illinois, was assigned a public defender in Illinois for a hearing on Friday upon his extradition to Wisconsin.
Under Wisconsin law, anyone 17 or older is treated as an adult in the criminal justice system.
Cellphone video showed the ordeal unfolded after a man was shot in the head outside a nearby auto garage. The videos showed the armed man running away in the moments after the gunshots rang out and he could be heard saying: ‘I’ve just killed somebody’.
Onlookers were filmed desperately trying to put pressure on the injured man’s head wound with a t-shirt as they yelled: ‘We’ve got to keep him alive’ and ‘put pressure, put pressure.’
It is not yet clear what happened in the lead up to the initial shooting but police fear it may have stemmed from a conflict at a gas station between ‘self-styled militias’ defending local businesses from looters.
In the wake of the killings, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers authorized 500 members of the National Guard to support local law enforcement around Kenosha, doubling the number of troops sent in. The governor’s office said he working other states to bring in additional National Guard troops and law officers.
Before the gunfire erupted, police in riot gear fired rubber bullets, tear gas and flash-bang rounds to push back demonstrators who defied a dawn-to-dusk curfew and gathered outside a courthouse and adjacent park.
About 300 demonstrators defied the city’s 8pm curfew again after Governor Tony Evers declared a state of emergency earlier following a night of violence and destruction that saw rioters set fire to businesses and vehicles across the city.
The shooting of Blake comes three months after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis which sparked nationwide protests against police brutality and racism as the United States continues to devolve in violent civil unrest and capitulation, exacerbated the ongoing coronavirus and economic destruction that has gravely affected many Americans with little respite in sight.