The criminal complaint against 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse alleging he fatally shot two people and wounded a third on the heels of rioting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, earlier this week appears to read as though he acted in self-defense.
What are the details?
Rittenhouse was charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide for allegedly shooting dead Joseph Rosenbaum, which carries a 60-year maximum prison term; one count of first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly shooting dead Anthony Huber, which carries a life sentence; and one count of attempted first-degree intentional homicide for shooting and injuring Gaige Grosskreutz, which carries a 60-year maximum prison term.
He's also charged with two counts of recklessly endangering safety while using a dangerous weapon and one count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18.
The probable cause portion of the complaint outlines what investigators learned from viewing multiple videos of Tuesday night's events as well as from interviewing witness Richard McGinnis of the Daily Caller:
In the first video, a male who was later identified to be Kyle H. Rittenhouse … (hereinafter "the defendant"), is running southwest across the eastern portion of the Car Source parking lot. … The defendant can clearly be seen holding a long gun, which was later recovered by law enforcement and identified as a Smith & Wesson AR-15 style .223 rifle. The recovered magazine for this rifle holds 30 rounds of ammunition. Following the defendant is Rosenbaum and trailing behind the defendant and Rosenbaum is a male who was later identified as Richard McGinnis, a reporter.
The video shows that as they cross the parking lot, Rosenbaum appears to throw an object at the defendant. The object does not hit the defendant and a second video shows, based on where the object landed, that it was a plastic bag. Rosenbaum appears to be unarmed for the duration of this video. A review of the second video shows that the defendant and Rosenbaum continue to move across the parking lot and approach the front of a black car parked in the lot. A loud bang is heard on the video, then a male shouts, "F*** you!", then Rosenbaum appears to continue to approach the defendant and gets in near proximity to the defendant when 4 more loud bangs are heard. Rosenbaum then falls to the ground.
The New York Times released an analysis of videos capturing the Rosenbaum shooting and noted that an unidentified person behind Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum held up a handgun and fired it. The Times' analysis provides two angles, with one showing a gunshot flash and smoke.
(Content warning: Language:)
At 23:19, Rittenhouse is seen in this YouTube livestream. He's being chased into a parking lot. While he is being p… https://t.co/8bWPJqPKAg— Christiaan Triebert (@Christiaan Triebert) 1598502747.0
After the single round of gunfire from an unknown person and then the volley of four shots, presumably from Rittenhouse, another three shots are heard. Here's more from the criminal complaint:
The defendant then circles behind the black car and approaches Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum remains on the ground. McGinnis also approaches, removes his shirt, and attempts to render aid to Rosenbaum. The defendant appears to get on his cell phone and place a call. Another male approaches, and the defendant turns and begins to run away from the scene. As the defendant is running away, he can be heard saying on the phone, "I just killed somebody."
Detective Cepress interviewed McGinnis and indicates the following: Before the shooting, McGinnis was interviewing the defendant. The defendant told McGinnis that he was a trained medic. McGinnis stated that he (McGinnis) has handled many ARs and that the defendant was not handling the weapon very well. McGinnis said that as they were walking south another armed male who appeared to be in his 30s joined them and said he was there to protect the defendant. McGinnis stated that before the defendant reached the parking lot and ran across it, the defendant had moved from the middle of Sheridan Road to the sidewalk and that is when McGinnis saw a male (Rosenbaum) initially try to engage the defendant. McGinnis stated that as the defendant was walking Rosenbaum was trying to get closer to the defendant. When Rosenbaum advanced, the defendant did a "juke" move and started running. McGinnis stated that there were other people that were moving very quickly. McGinnis stated that they were moving towards the defendant. McGinnis said that according to what he saw the defendant was trying to evade these individuals.
McGinnis described the point where the defendant had reached the car. McGinnis described that the defendant had the gun in a low ready position. Meaning that he had the gun raised but pointed downward. The butt of the gun would have been at an angle downwards from the shoulder. McGinnis stated that the defendant brought the gun up. McGinnis stated that he stepped back and he thinks the defendant fired 3 rounds in rapid succession. McGinnis said when the first round went off, he thought it hit the pavement. McGinnis felt something on his leg and his first thought was wondering whether he had gotten shot. McGinnis was behind and slightly to the right of Rosenbaum, in the line of fire, when the defendant shot.
McGinnis stated that the first round went into the ground and when the second shot went off, the defendant actually had the gun aimed at Rosenbaum. McGinnis stated he did not hear the two exchange any words. McGinnis said that the unarmed guy (Rosenbaum) was trying to get the defendant's gun. McGinnis demonstrated by extending both of his hands in a quick grabbing motion and did that as a visual on how Rosenbaum tried to reach for the defendant's gun. Detective Cepress indicates that he asked McGinnis if Rosenbaum had his hands on the gun when the defendant shot. McGinnis said that he definitely made a motion that he was trying to grab the barrel of the gun. McGinnis stated that the defendant pulled it away and then raised it. McGinnis stated that right as they came together, the defendant fired. McGinnis said that when Rosenbaum was shot, he had leaned in (towards the defendant).
BREAKING they shot someone in the head at the #KENOSHA riot RIGHT NOW I repeat someone has been shot in what appea… https://t.co/cgyiSKkxEz— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER) 1598417712.0
The complaint continues with an account of what occurred after Rittenhouse ran from the scene of first shooting and was pursued by numerous individuals down a street, after which he fell, was physically attacked, and fired more shots:
... A group of several people begin running northbound on Sheridan Road behind the defendant. A person can be heard yelling what sounds like, "Beat him up!" Another person can be heard yelling what sounds like, "Hey, he shot him!" Your complainant reviewed a fourth video that showed a different angle of the defendant running northbound. In this video a person can be heard yelling, "Get him! Get that dude!" Then a male in a light-colored top runs towards the defendant and appears to swing at the defendant with his right arm. This swing makes contact with the defendant, knocking his hat off. The defendant continues to run northbound. On the video a male can be heard saying something to the effect of, "What'd he do?" Another male can be heard responding something to the effect of, "Just shot someone." Then a male can be heard yelling, "Get his ass!" The defendant then trips and falls to the ground.
As the defendant is on the ground, an unidentified male wearing a dark-colored top and light-colored pants jumps at and over the defendant. Based on the sounds of gunshots on the video and the positioning of the defendant's gun, it appears that he fires two shots in quick succession at this person. It appears that that person was not hit as he then runs away from the defendant. A second person who was later identified as Anthony Huber approaches the defendant who is still on the ground, on his back. Huber has a skateboard in his right hand. When Huber reaches the defendant it appears that he is reaching for the defendant's gun with his left hand as the skateboard makes contact with the defendant's left shoulder. Huber appears to be trying to pull the gun away from the defendant. The defendant rolls towards his left side and as Huber appears to be trying to grab the gun the gun is pointed at Huber's body. The defendant then fires one round which can be heard on the video. Huber staggers away, taking several steps, then collapses to the ground. Huber subsequently died from this gunshot wound.
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The criminal complaint adds that "after shooting Huber, the defendant moves to a seated position and points his gun at a third male, later identified as Gaige Grosskreutz, who had begun to approach the defendant. When the defendant shot Huber, Grosskreutz freezes and ducks and takes a step back. Grosskreutz puts his hands in the air. Grosskreutz then moves towards the defendant who aims his gun at Grosskreutz and shoots him, firing 1 shot. Grosskreutz was shot in the right arm. Grosskreutz appears to be holding a handgun in his right hand when he was shot."
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Image source: Twitter video screenshot via @bgonthescene
Image source: Twitter
The criminal complaint adds that "Grosskreutz then runs southbound away from the defendant screaming for a medic and the defendant gets up and starts walking northbound. The defendant turns around facing southbound while walking backwards northbound with his firearm in a ready position, pointed towards the people in the roadway."
Rittenhouse was then seen on video walking down the street and approaching police vehicles with his hands raised. Police did not pick up Rittenhouse at this time.
Here's video of second and third shootings. (Content warning: Language):
(Warning, Graphic/Violent) A crowd chases a suspected shooter down in Kenosha. He trips and falls, then turns with… https://t.co/vxBAmOy0TK— Brendan Gutenschwager (@Brendan Gutenschwager) 1598422068.0
The criminal complaint also revealed autopsy results, noting that Rosenbaum had a gunshot wound to his back which perforated his liver and right lung, a gunshot wound to the right groin which fractured his pelvis, a gunshot wound to his left hand, a superficial gunshot wound to his lateral left thigh, and a graze gunshot wound to the right side of his forehead. The complaint added that Huber's autopsy revealed that he had a gunshot wound to this chest that perforated his heart, aorta, pulmonary artery, and right lung.
Here's an interview BlazeTV's Elijah Schaffer conducted with the alleged shooter before the incidents occurred:
CONTEXT: I spoke with the alleged shooter earlier in the night who stated he was there to protect property He did… https://t.co/bQBG7ALvPJ— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ELIJAH SCHAFFER) 1598436810.0
(H/T: The Daily Wire)