Kyle Rittenhouse is accused of many crimes but gun charges in his home state of Illinois have been dropped. Rittenhouse, 17, is a resident of Antioch in Lake County, Illinois where he is currently being held in a juvenile detention center without bond due to a shooting incident in Kenosha, Wisconsin on August 25, 2020. He is being charged in Wisconsin with six crimes, first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree reckless homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. He faces life in prison.
Police Report for charges against Kyle Rittenhouse:
The State of Illinois considered charging Rittenhouse with gun crimes relating to traveling across state lines with a weapon as an underage individual. In a written statement released on October 13, Illinois State Attorney Michael G. Nerheim announced that after an extensive investigation, no charges would be brought against Rittenhouse in the state of Illinois. Investigators found that the weapon used in the shooting was purchased and stored in Wisconsin, therefore, no charges applied in Illinois.
The incident in question took place late on August 25th the third straight night of riots and unrest in the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Riots and protests ensued after the police-involved shooting of Jacob Blake on August 23rd. The city erupted in a chaotic scene where buildings were burned and businesses were looted over the course of several days. Many business owners turned to private security, arming themselves, and banding friends and family together to protect their businesses as it was clear that the police were not effective in stopping the destruction. One of the people that went to aid with the unrest was Kyle Rittenhouse.
Rittenhouse traveled 20 miles across state lines from his home in Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin to help citizens protect their businesses and keep people safe. It has been reported that he answered a “call to action” put out by the so-called Kenosha Guard on Facebook. The Kenosha Guard is labeled a militia group consisting of patriot citizens. Kenosha Guard member Kevin Mathewson told reporters that Rittenhouse was not associated with the group. The Kenosha Guard’s Facebook page as well as Rittenhouse’s page has since been taken down. Facebook issued a statement that read, “We’ve designated this shooting as a mass murder and have removed the shooter’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram. At this time, we have not found evidence on Facebook that suggests the shooter followed the Kenosha Guard page or that he was invited on the event page they organized. However, the Kenosha Guard page and their event page violated our new policy addressing militia organizations and have been removed on that basis.”.
Mr. Rittenhouse was captured on several live streams throughout the evening carrying an AR-15 style rifle. One of the videos shows Rittenhouse explaining his purpose there. He said, “People are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business, and part of my job is to also help people. If there’s somebody hurt, I’m running into harm’s way. That’s why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself, but I also have my med kit.”
After this recording, the situation devolved into scenes of violence and fires being set around the area. The first incident Rittenhouse was involved in took place at an auto dealership. Live stream video did not get clear footage of this incident but a man, later identified as Joseph Rosenbaum, is seen on the car lot with Rittenhouse. Rosenbaum threw something at Rittenhouse and expletives were heard. Rosenbaum continued to approach Rittenhouse when four shots were heard and Rosenbaum fell to the ground. A bystander rushed to administer aid to Rosenbaum but he was later pronounced dead at the hospital. He was shot in the groin, back, and hand.
After the shooting, Rittenhouse ran up the street away from the scene and was followed by several people shouting to “get him” and “beat him up”. Rittenhouse tripped in the road and fell as several men descended on him. One man is seen running up to Rittenhouse as he laid on his back and jumping over him as Rittenhouse fires two shots, missing the man as he retreated. Another man, Anthony Huber, approached Rittenhouse, still on his back, with a skateboard and began trying to wrestle the gun away from Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse was hit on the shoulder with the skateboard and he fired his weapon one time, striking Huber in the chest, killing him.
Rittenhouse sat up to see another man, Gaige Grosskreuzt approaching him. Rittenhouse had his gun aimed at Grosskreutz and shot him one time in the arm. Video evidence revealed that Grosskreutz had a pistol in his hand. Grosskreutz ran from the scene. Rittenhouse stood up and began walking toward the police, turning and walking backward with his gun pointed to make sure he wasn’t going to be jumped from behind.
Video of the second and third shooting with Rittenhouse running toward police:
Rittenhouse ran toward the police line at the end of the street. He is seen walking with his hands up and bystanders can be heard telling the police he had just shot someone, pointing down the street toward the scene. The police can be seen in video rolling slowly past Rittenhouse not hearing what was being said to them. The Kenosha Police were scrutinized for not taking Rittenhouse into custody. Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis replied to the criticism with this, “There were a lot of people in the area, a lot of people with weapons and unfortunately a lot of gunfire. So what the officers were walking into, or driving into in this case, was a shots-fired complaint, not a shooting, not a person-down complaint. We have had many of those over the course of this unfortunate event.
Rittenhouse was not picked up that night but instead turned himself into Antioch, Illinois Police the next day. John Pierce, attorney for Rittenhouse, released the following statement on August 28.
Rittenhouse has been held without bond in Illinois since his arrest. Rittenhouse is currently fighting extradition to Wisconsin. His next hearing is slated for October 30th.