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Report: Wisconsin man admits to firing first shots on the night of the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Report: Wisconsin man admits to firing first shots on the night of the Kyle Rittenhouse shooting

Pivotal moment

According to a criminal complaint obtained by the New York Post, a Wisconsin man has been charged by Wisconsin authorities with multiple crimes after he reportedly admitted to having fired the first of a number of fateful shots that rang out in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on the night of Aug. 25.

According to the Post, 35-year-old Wisconsin native Joshua Ziminski and his wife both admitted to detectives that Ziminski fired a "warning shot" into the air immediately before Rittenhouse allegedly shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum during a tense night of protests. The detectives are the same detectives who have been in charge of investigating Rittenhouse's activities on that evening.

Rittenhouse has been charged with first-degree murder, among other charges. His attorneys say he was acting in self-defense.

The shot fired by Ziminski was a pivotal moment in the evening and may have played a key role in the violent events of that night. As noted by the New York Times, which exhaustively reviewed available footage of Rittenhouse from that evening, Rittenhouse appears to have been fleeing an increasingly agitated mob of protesters until he was cornered in the lot of a car dealership. Video taken of the shooting appears to show that right before Rittenhouse shot and killed Rosenbaum, there was a nearby muzzle flash and gunshot sound from the same direction that Rosenbaum was charging.

According to detectives, that gunshot was fired by Ziminski, who was seen on video "holding a black handgun" immediately before the attack, then was seen walking into the Ultimate Gas Station lot — which is adjacent to the car dealership where the Rosenbaum shooting occurred — with his "arm pointing the gun upward towards the sky." Videos of the shooting appear to show Rittenhouse turning toward the sound of the shot and seeing Rosenbaum charging at him, whereupon Rittenhouse fired several close-range shots at the charging Rosenbaum.

Rittenhouse's attorneys have said that the gunshot allegedly fired by Ziminski was what caused their client to believe that his life was in danger. Daily Caller reporter Richie McGinness, who was on the scene and witnessed the shooting firsthand, also stated that the sound of the gunshot was when Rittenhouse "went from running away to aiming his weapon."

After Rosenbaum was shot, Rittenhouse then fled an even larger group of pursuers. In the course of that flight, he fatally shot 26-year-old Anthony Huber, who chased him down and tackled him in the street, and also shot and wounded Gage Grosskreutz, who appears to have pulled a handgun on him.

Ziminski's attorneys did not return a request for comment to the New York Post. He has been released on bond and is scheduled to have a pre-trial hearing on Dec. 4.

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