Kyle Rittenhouse: Kenosha gunman will not face additional charges over AR-15-style rifle in home state Illinois
The 17-year-old is still facing a series of charges in Wisconsin over the August 25 shooting, which claimed the lives of two people and left another critically injured
Illinois prosecutors have announced that teen gunman Kyle Rittenhouse will not face charges in his home state over his AR-15-style rifle use during violent Kenosha protests in the neighboring state Wisconsin. Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim said that the Smith & Wesson .223 caliber rifle Rittenhouse used “was purchased, stored and used in Wisconsin,” a police investigation had found. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the 17-year-old ever “physically possessed” the rifle in the Prairie State, and thereby he would not face additional charges there. Nerheim's office, however, did not offer details on who purchased and stored the weapon before it was used by Rittenhouse, who claims he was helping friends protect local businesses from rioters in Kenosha, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Nonetheless, the Antioch resident is now facing a series of charges in Wisconsin over the August 25 shooting, which claimed the lives of two people and left another critically injured. Rittenhouse is facing one count each of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree reckless homicide, and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. In addition, he also charged him with possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, a misdemeanor, the New York Post reported. Rittenhouse's lawyers and supporters -- who say he acted in self-defense -- have cast him as a patriot and defender of the Second Amendment. A recent social media campaign has reportedly raised more than $2 million for his legal defense funds.
Last month, MEAWW reported how Rittenhouse received more than $50,000 in donations from the National Foundation for Gun Rights (NFGR). The funds came as a result of more than 1,000 donations made to the NFGR to benefit 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, as the gun-rights group announced on September 17 that it is depositing the check into Rittenhouse’s trust fund administered by one of his attorneys.
"I spoke with Kyle's mother this morning to let her know NFGR received over 1,000 donations amounting to over $50,000 from folks who support her son," Dudley Brown, the foundation’s executive director, said in a press release.
Meanwhile, Rittenhouse is remanded in custody at an Illinois jail, where he has been held since his arrest just days after the shooting. According to Fox News, Wisconsin allows open-carry firearms but a person under 18 cannot legally possess or carry a firearm "unless that person is hunting or target-practicing with an adult or in the military." Speaking to the Daily Caller earlier on the day of the shooting, Rittenhouse said he was in Kenosha to help his friends guard a local car dealership and bring first-aid to people if they got hurt.
Just hours later, Rittenhouse, a former member of the police cadet program, opened fire (allegedly in self-defense) and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber. A third victim Gaige Grosskreutz was also wounded in a series of encounters after the situation intensified, per a court complaint.
"The left is doing everything in their power to portray a 17-year-old kid as the villain," Brown said in the NGFR release. "We believe Kyle acted legally and defended himself from a dangerous group of armed thugs whose clear intent was to cause permanent harm."