On Friday, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges in the shootings that killed two men and injured a third during last year’s riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Rittenhouse was charged with intentional homicide, reckless homicide, attempted intentional homicide, and two counts of reckless endangerment after he killed Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, as rioters protested the police shooting of Jacob Blake, an armed black man who was shot by police as he was allegedly trying to kidnap the child of a woman he had sexually assaulted.
On August 25, 2020, Rittenhouse – who was then 17 years old – made the short 30-minute trip from the town of Antioch, Illinois, to Kenosha, Wisconsin, with the stated purpose of assisting business owners and residents in protecting their property from rioters and looters. Rittenhouse walked around the city armed with a semi-automatic rifle for protection and carrying a first aid kit for helping anyone injured in the riots.
“People are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business, and part of my job is to also help people,” Rittenhouse explained in a video before the shootings occurred. “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.”
While guarding a used car dealership, he was chased by rioters and ended up fatally shooting two people as they tried to attack him, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and injuring a third who had aimed his gun at Rittenhouse, Gaige Grosskreutz. All three men Rittenhouse shot were white.
After four days of jury deliberation and two weeks of testimony, the jury determined Rittenhouse was “not guilty” on all charges.
Rittenhouse struggled to hold back tears as the “not guilty” verdicts were read, eventually collapsing into his seat and hugging one of his defense attorneys.
Kyle Rittenhouse breaks down, collapses, and hugs his defense attorney as he is found NOT GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS. pic.twitter.com/VwXpOfWTXs
— Tayler Hansen (@TaylerUSA) November 19, 2021