Newly emerged online video and photos apparently shows one of alleged Kenosha, Wisconsin shooter Kyle Rittenhouse’s victims holding a handgun during the encounter – as the suspect’s lawyer insists his client was acting in self-defense.
In the footage, Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Illinois resident, can be seen allegedly shooting his third and only surviving victim Gaige Grosskreutz in the arm as the Grosskreutz apparently holds a handgun.
Prosecutors say Rittenhouse shot Grosskreutz, 26, shortly after fatally gunning down Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, late Tuesday during protests over the Sunday police-shooting of 29-year-old Jacob Blake in the city.
The teen shooting suspect was charged with six criminal counts — including first-degree intentional homicide and attempted homicide – but his lawyer L. Lin Wood insists that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.
According to Rittenhouse’s criminal complaint filed Thursday in Kenosha County Circuit Court, an unarmed Rosenbaum had followed Rittenhouse into a used car lot and a Daily Caller reporter identified as Richard McGinnis was trailing behind them.
At the lot, Rosenbaum attempted to throw a plastic bag at Rittenhouse and McGinnis, who witnessed the incident, told authorities that Rosenbaum tried to grab Rittenhouse’s Smith & Wesson AR-15 style .223 rifle before he was shot.
“McGinnis said that he [Rosenbaum] 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,” the complaint says.
The court document says that McGinnis, who had been interviewing Rittenhouse before the shooting, attempted to render aid to Rosenbaum.
Rosenbaum was shot in the right groin, back and left hand, according to the complaint, which said he also suffered a superficial gunshot wound to his left thigh and a graze wound to the right side of his forehead.
After shooting Rosenbaum, Rittenhouse appeared to make a call on his cell phone and told someone over the phone, “I just killed somebody,” the complaint charges.
Then Rittenhouse ran down a crowded street in Kenosha.
One person can be heard saying “beat him up,” as another is heard shouting, “Hey, he shot him!,” video footage shows, the complaint says. “Get him! Get that dude!” a person can be heard saying.
“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,” the complaint says.
Moments later, video shows Rittenhouse trip and fall to the ground and as he is on the ground he opens fire on an individual who was not hit and ran away, prosecutors said.
The complaint says Huber, with a skateboard in his right hand, then approached Rittenhouse while he was down on the ground and reached for his gun.
“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 court document says. “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.”
After shooting Huber, Rittenhouse moved to a seated position and pointed his gun at Grosskreutz, who approached Rittenhouse, prosecutors said.
“When the defendant shot Huber, Grosskreutz freezes and ducks and takes a step back. Grosskreutz puts his hands in the air,” according to the complaint. “Grosskreutz then moves towards the defendant who aims his gun at Grosskreutz and shoots him, firing 1 shot.”
The complaint says Grosskreutz “appears to be holding a handgun in his right hand when he was shot.”
Meanwhile, Huber’s girlfriend Hannah Gittings told CNN in an interview Friday that Huber, armed with nothing but a skateboard, ran towards an armed Rittenhouse to protect her and those nearby.
“He pushed me out of the way, like he was telling me to run off, and I tried to grab him,” Hannah Gittings told the news outlet. “I should have been there, but there was going to be no changing his mind.”
Huber and Gittings were in Kenosha to protest the shooting of Blake.
“He did a … heroic thing,” Gittings said, adding, “He did not deserve to die.”
“This kid just snatched any chance for him to have been able to live the life that he deserved to live,” Gittings told CNN.
Wood on Friday called Rittenhouse, his client, “a fine young boy blessed with a good family” in a tweet.
“Take media rumors & accusations with a grain of salt. In time, lies are always revealed when truth is disclosed,” Wood said.
In another tweet Wood wrote, “‘Video eye’ does not lie. Kyle Rittenhouse acted in self-defense.”
“Murder charges are factually unsupportable,” Wood said. “An egregious miscarriage of justice is occurring with respect to this 17-year old boy. I love truth & justice. I deplore lies & injustice. Had those feelings ALL my life.”
Earlier Friday, Wood claimed that the gun Rittenhouse was toting belonged to Rittenhouse’s friend in Wisconsin and that it was not carried across state lines.
“The gun never left the State of Wisconsin,” Wood said.
Wisconsin is an open-carry state for those 18 and older.
Rittenhouse had answered the online call on Tuesday for armed vigilantes to flock to Kenosha to protect businesses from “evil thugs” who had rioted in the city since the shooting of Blake.
Additional reporting by Gabrielle Fonrouge
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