Kyle Rittenhouse's lawyer says BLM protesters were 'relentlessly hunting him as prey' before teen shot dead two
Rittenhouse, who has been charged as an adult, is now facing two charges of first-degree homicide for killing Anthony M Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum.
Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse's lawyer, on Monday, August 31, claimed that protesters were "relentlessly hunting" his client "as prey," adding that the 17-year-old was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed two people and injured another.
Rittenhouse, who has been charged as an adult, is now facing two charges of first-degree homicide for killing Anthony M Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum. He is also facing one count of attempted homicide for the incident on the third night of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in the wake of Jacob Blake police shooting. Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by a police officer in the back as his three children watched the tragedy unfold from his car.
The suspect's attorney, John Pierce, however, praised the teenager for his actions during an appearance on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight, and argued that the teen was defending himself against a mob attempting to disarm and hurt him. "This is 100 percent self-defense," Pierce said. "The only individuals Kyle shot were the three individuals attacking him and putting him at risk. This is a 17-year-old kid, this is amazing what he did."
Pierce's comments echoed the ones made by President Donald Trump on Monday night. Trump sided with Rittenhouse, saying he was just attempting to get away and would have been killed if he had not started shooting. His lawyer said that the teen had traveled to Kenosha to help protect businesses from being torched and looted amid the Blake protests. Pierce added that along with being armed with an AR-15-style rifle, he was also carrying a first aid with him to help treat injured demonstrators.
The lawyer said that the incident escalated after when a shot was fired as Ritenhouse attempted to retreat from a group of protesters, who — according to the attorney — became enraged that the teen was trying to put out fires. "They began screaming that Kyle needed to be killed and they were going to kill him. They started relentlessly hunting him as prey as he ran down the street attempting to retreat," Pierce said. "Mr Rosenbaum, who was leading the attack on him, set upon him immediately... began to assault him from behind, attempted to take his weapon, take his firearm, and Kyle, when he turned, he instantaneously had no choice but to defend himself by firing because he was in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death."
The lawyer also denied that the teen had brought the AR-15 rifle from across state lines from Illinois — where he lives — to Wisconson. "That firearm never crossed state lines. It is a legal firearm in Wisconsin," Pierce said.
According to cellphone videos taken from the scene of action and witness accounts, the shooting occurred in two stages. First, Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum and then jogged away and fell in the street. He later opened fire again on Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz — who was shot in the arm — as protesters closed in on him. Rittenhouse, after the gunfire, reportedly held his AR-15-style rifle over his shoulder and walked toward police vehicles with his hands in the air as the vehicles went past him. One of the witnesses even shouted: "He just shot them!"
The 17-year-old later turned himself to the police and is now jailed on homicide charges.