Attorneys for Kyle Rittenhouse have released new footage of the shootings he carried out during protests and riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, arguing that they demonstrate a clear-cut case of self-defense.
Rittenhouse, 17, is charged with intentional homicide and other charges for fatally shooting two and injuring one during a confrontation on August 25, the third night of protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who was shot in the back and paralyzed.
On Tuesday, Rittenhouse’s attorney Lin Wood released footage outlining the defense’s version of events on the night of the shootings, in particular highlighting the events leading up to the first shooting, which was not captured on widely-circulated video of the subsequent two shootings.
In a slickly produced 11-minute video released by Wood’s FightBack Foundation, the defense team argues that other shots were fired before and after the first fatal shooting, which killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum.
Rittenhouse’s defense lawyers argue that the teenager was running away (above with his gun) from a group when he started being chased by 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum (the man pictured on the right)
As Rittenhouse was running away, his lawyers point to a single gunshot that rang out across the street. They circled the muzzle flash (above). Rittenhouse, who is not pictured above, was running away to the right of this frame when the shot was fired
The video shows Rittenhouse running into a parking lot, followed by Rosenbaum and journalist Richard McGinniss, who was filming the chase on his cellphone
Rittenhouse, a high school student and lifeguard in nearby Antioch, Illinois, has said that he and his friends were called upon by a business owner in Kenosha to help maintain the peace after several businesses were burned by protesters in preceding nights.
Video from earlier in the evening shows him with a first-aid kit offering medical aid to protesters. He also carries an AR-15-style rifle. The legal age to open carry in Wisconsin is 18.
Videos also show a dispute between Rosenbaum and men guarding a nearby gas station prior to the shooting.
Rittenhouse’s lawyers say that Rosenbaum was enraged that the guards had put out a fire in a rolling dumpster that activists had tried to push toward the gas station, and that he was seen shouting ‘Shoot me n***a’ at a man with a rifle at the gas station, who was dressed similarly to Rittenhouse.
Some time later, Rittenhouse was spotted sprinting with a fire extinguisher to put out another fire, which his lawyers claim that Rosenbaum was involved in igniting.
Rittenhouse’s attorneys say the teenager turned back and pointed his gun at Rosenbaum after that first gunshot rang out from across the street. McGinniss, who was filming the ordeal, later said Rosenbaum lunged at the barrel of Rittenhouse’s gun in the seconds before the teenager fired
The lawyers say Rittenhouse fired four shots at Rosenbaum. The video captures three additional shots of unknown origin immediately after Rittnehouse fired. They point to this grab of Rittenhouse coming back to the scene (left) to check on Rosenbaum as McGinniss gave him aid (right)
His lawyers say this grab shows Rittenhouse attempting to call 911 as McGinniss continues to provide aid to Rosenbaum. They say an ‘angry mob’ were forming nearby as Rittenhouse was on the phone
Rittenhouse could be seen quickly fleeing from the shooting scene on foot as an angry crowd began to form. He was on the phone at the time and could be heard saying: ‘I just shot somebody’
Then, the video shows Rittenhouse fleeing on foot as he is pursued by Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse’s attorneys theorize that Rosembaum may have believed Rittenhouse was the other guard that he’d had an earlier dispute with.
The video shows Rittenhouse running into a parking lot, followed by Rosenbaum and journalist Richard McGinniss, who was filming the chase on his cellphone.
‘Directly in front of Rittenhouse, armed with bats and other weapons, a mob is forming a barricade,’ according to the voiceover on the video released by Wood.
As Rittenhouse fled, a single gunshot rang out nearby, with the muzzle flash captured on video. It’s unclear who fired the gun. Rittenhouse then turns around to face Rosenbaum, and according to McGinniss, opened fire as Rosenbaum lunged at his rifle.
According to Rittenhouse’s attorneys, he fired four times. The video captures three additional shots of unknown origin immediately after Rittenhouse fired.
Rosembaum was struck four times, and Rittenhouse’s attorneys say that it has yet to be proven that he fired all of the shots that struck Rosenbaum.
Rittenhouse then attempted to call 911, but quickly fled from the shooting scene on foot as an angry crowd began to form.
What happened next is more widely known, thanks to dramatic video that circulated soon after the shootings. As Rittenhouse fled (above), he was pursued and struck from behind. Rittenhouse tripped, and several people began to attack him while he was on the ground
After falling, one protester was captured on cellphone video kicking Rittenhouse to the ground
Another man then approached and could be seen hitting Rittenhouse over the head with a skateboard
Rittenhouse fired a shot at the man brandishing the skateboard while he was still lying on the ground. The man who initially kicked the gunman to the ground can be seen running (right) as the gunshots broke out
The man with the skateboard stumbled away from the gunman clutching his chest (right) after being shot as another approaching man appeared to put his hands up in front of the shooter
The man who put his hands up can be seen above from a different angle attempting to cover himself as the gunman fired off his rifle
That same man was subsequently shot in the arm by Rittenhouse (above). The man who was initially shot in the chest can be seen collapsed on the ground behind him
Rittenhouse got back to his feet while the man who was shot in the chest laid on the ground and bystanders screamed and ran in terror
What happened next is more widely known, thanks to dramatic video that circulated soon after the shootings.
As Rittenhouse fled, he was pursued and struck from behind. Rittenhouse tripped, and several people began to attack him while he was on the ground.
As an unknown man tried to jump on him, Rittenhouse fired two shots into the air.
Then, as 26-year-old Anthony Huber struck him in the head with a skateboard and grabbed for his rifle, Rittenhouse fired once, striking Huber in the chest and killing him.
The video then shows Gaige Grosskreutz, 27, approaching Rittenhouse with a handgun in his right hand. Rittenhouse fires once, striking Grosskreutz in the right bicep and wounding him.
A social media post unearthed by Rittnehouse’s legal team purports to show a social media post by a friend of Grosskreutz who spoke to him in the hospital after the shooting.
Rittenhouse’s defense team are arguing that the lead up to the shooting proves their self-defense claim. They point to footage of a dispute between Joseph Rosenbaum (right in red shirt) and men guarding a nearby gas station prior to the shooting. The lawyers argue Rosenbaum got into a confrontation because he was starting fires
Rosembaum’s argument was mainly with an armed man dressed in green (left). Rittenhouse’s attorneys theorize that Rosembaum may have later mistaken Rittenhouse (right) for the other guard that he’d had an earlier dispute with
The lawyers argues this new footage shows Rittenhouse sprinting with a fire extinguisher to put out another fire, which his lawyers claim that Rosenbaum was involved in igniting
‘His only regret was not killing the kid and hesitating to pull the gun before emptying the entire mag into him,’ the friend claimed Grosskreutz had said.
Lin Wood and John Pierce, another attorney who has taken up high-profile cases championed by conservatives, started the #FightBack foundation in early August.
The fund is described as a way to ‘bring lawsuits to check the lies of the left.’ Pierce stepped back from the fund’s board earlier this month, saying he wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
The case has become a political flashpoint, drawing polarized reactions from different sides of the political spectrum.
Rittenhouse is charged with two counts of intentional homicide, reckless endangerment, attempted intentional homicide, and misdemeanor possession of a firearm by a person under 18.
He is due in Illinois court on Thursday for a hearing on his extradition to Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, his bail has been set at $2 million.
Anthony Huber (left) was later identified as the man shot in the chest. He later died from his injuries. Gaige Grosskreutz (right) was the man shot in the arm.
A social media post unearthed by Rittnehouse’s legal team purports to show a social media post by a friend of Grosskreutz who spoke to him in the hospital