Who is Dominick Black? Kyle Rittenhouse's pal bought gun used in Kenosha shootings
Dominick Black became close to Kyle Rittenhouse last year while dating his sister. He told a jury on Tuesday, November 2, how he considered Rittenhouse a brother and saw him nearly every day.
Black and Rittenhouse were together on the night of August 25, 2020, when they took assault-style rifles to a riot-stricken Kenosha, where police brutality demonstrations had wreaked havoc across the city. Rittenhouse, then 17, proceeded to fatally shoot two men and wounded a third amid the chaotic unrest. Twenty-year-old Black, of Kenosha, was the first witness called by the prosecution in Rittenhouse's trial on charges of intentional, reckless, and attempted homicide. Meanwhile, the defense argued that Rittenhouse acted purely in self-defense.
Black told the court that Rittenhouse had expressed interest in getting an AR-15 style rifle. The former agreed to buy a rifle for him during a trip to his family's hunting property in May 2020, considering Rittenhouse couldn't lawfully buy or possess one due to his age. Black testified that he used Rittenhouse's money to make the purchase. According to Black, the duo had discussed that it was illegal, but agreed Rittenhouse would only start using the gun when he turned 18. They proceeded to shoot a couple of hundred rounds at the time, and Rittenhouse wouldn't use the weapon until August 25, 2020.
Black recalled on the witness stand how he, his brother, and Rittenhouse had visited downtown that morning to witness the aftermath of the first two nights of rioting that followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake Jr. While the group went home shortly after, they returned around 5 pm after Black's friend Nick Smith suggested they should help protect an auto dealership in Kenosha -- Car Source -- where Smith was a former employee.
Both rifles belonging to Rittenhouse and Black were normally locked in gun safes at the latter's house. The safes could only be opened by Black's stepfather, he told the court. However, the stepfather, who wasn't identified, took all the guns to the basement concerned that the unrest might reach their home. Black said he was in the kitchen of his home when Rittenhouse came up the steps with his rifle. The duo would proceed to buy tactical slings for the rifles before returning downtown.
Black, who is facing two counts of intentionally giving a dangerous weapon to someone under 18, resulting in death, testified that one of the owners at Car Source's repair garage showed them how to get inside if they needed to, as well as to the ladder they used to set up on the roof. "I didn't want to be in the mix of a lot of problems," he said. "I didn't want to get hurt."
Responding to questions from prosecutor Thomas Binger, Black said he needed the rifle in case something bad were to happen, thinking the weapon might deter rioters from hurting the business. Rittenhouse, in the meantime, had hooked up on the ground with Ryan Balch, a former member of the military from Jackson, USA Today reported. The duo ventured out of the car repair business and got split up shortly after. Black recalled how someone called Smith after 11 pm and warned vandals were attacking another Car Source establishment a couple of blocks south. He said he couldn't remember if he or Smith called Rittenhouse and instructed him to go there.
Rittenhouse subsequently got hold of a fire extinguisher from a gas station and headed to 63rd Street, where he had a scuffle with Joseph Rosenbaum and fatally shot him four times. He then ran back up Sheridan Road, where he shot and killed Anthony Huber after he hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his gun. Rittenhouse also wounded Gaige Grosskreutz, who reportedly had a gun at the time and survived a bullet to his arm.