Prosecutors Released A Timeline Of 17-Year-Old Kyle Rittenhouse Shooting Three People At A Kenosha Protest
The criminal complaint, released Thursday, details the shootings that sent Kenosha reeling from a night of deadly violence.
The timeline of 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse's movements the night he allegedly killed two people and injured another at a protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake was laid out in detail by prosecutors in a criminal complaint filed Thursday.
Weaving together events on Aug. 25 that were partly captured by witness videos, the complaint obtained by BuzzFeed News paints a clearer picture of the shootings that sent Kenosha, Wisconsin, reeling — and people around the nation wondering what had happened — during a night of deadly violence.
Rittenhouse's lawyers have previously called his actions "classic self-defense."
Authorities reviewed several cellphone recordings, including one that showed Rittenhouse running with a long gun, later identified as a Smith & Wesson AR-15-style .223 rifle with a magazine that held 30 rounds of ammunition. One of the shooting victims, Joseph Rosenbaum, followed Rittenhouse. A Daily Caller reporter, Richard McGinnis, followed behind.
"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," according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators pointed to another video that captured the first shooting in which several loud gunshots are heard, and Rosenbaum was seen falling to the ground. A man, whom investigators identified as McGinnis, ran up to Rosenbaum, took his shirt off, and attempted to help him.
Rittenhouse was seen looking at Rosenbaum on the ground, then running away with a cellphone to his ear saying, "I just killed somebody." Investigators later spoke to Dominic Black, who was identified as the friend Rittenhouse had called, according to the complaint. Black said that Rittenhouse called him at around 11:46 p.m.
An autopsy conducted by the Milwaukee Medical Examiner’s Office found that Rosenbaum was shot in the back, the right groin, left hand, and left thigh. His lung and liver were perforated, and his pelvis fractured. He also sustained a graze gunshot wound on his right forehead.
Prior to the shooting, McGinnis had interviewed Rittenhouse on video, asking him what he was doing out there and acknowledging his firearm.
"People are getting injured and our job is to protect this business, and part of my job is also to help people," Rittenhouse says. "If there's somebody hurt, I'm running into harm's way. That's why my rifle, so I can protect myself, obviously. I also have my med kit."
When interviewed by a detective later, McGinnis said that Rittenhouse told him he was a trained medic. The reporter said he had experience with ARs and that the 17-year-old "was not handling the weapon very well." He also told the detective that an armed man who looked to be in his thirties walked south with them at one point, and the man said he was there to protect Rittenhouse.
It's unclear who the armed man is and where he was when Rosenbaum was shot. The complaint does not name him.
McGinnis told the detective that Rosenbaum was trying to grab Rittenhouse's gun, and Rittenhouse raised the weapon and shot Rosenbaum. McGinnis said he stayed to help Rosenbaum and heard gunshots soon after.
A third video from the night captured two other protesters, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz, being shot.
The video shows Rittenhouse running along an open road with his rifle as bystanders follow him, shouting that he shot someone and trying to confront him.
Rittenhouse trips and falls, and while on the ground, a man "jumps at and over the defendant" and Rittenhouse appears to shoot at him, but misses.
Huber then approaches him with a skateboard, seemingly trying to wrestle the rifle away. According to the complaint, Rittenhouse, who was still on the ground, then fired at Huber, who staggered away and collapsed.
Huber later died from the gunshot wound, and an autopsy found that he was shot in the chest, and the bullet perforated his heart, aorta, pulmonary artery, and right lung.
After shooting Huber, the complaint says, Rittenhouse sat up and pointed his weapon at Grosskreutz.
"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," the complaint says.
Rittenhouse then got up and continued walking, then turned to walk backward as he pointed his rifle at people on the road, according to the complaint.
Cellphone video shows him still armed, walking with his hands raised, toward police vehicles. The police drove past him.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth could not explain in a press conference Wednesday why police did not detain Rittenhouse then, saying officers have "incredible tunnel vision" in those situations because of the noise.
On Friday, Beth told reporters that there was nothing to suggest that Rittenhouse "was involved in any criminal behavior" even though he was armed and walking toward police with his hands up.
"Someone walking away with hands up, that wasn't out of the ordinary," Beth said. "Officers [were] telling him to get out of the way. They didn't see him as a suspect ... no idea [in that moment] he was involved."
Rittenhouse has been charged with two counts of first-degree homicide, one count of attempted homicide, two counts of recklessly endangering safety, and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18. Neither of his lawyers, John Pierce or L. Lin Wood, responded to multiple requests for comment on the allegations and timeline that investigators outlined in the criminal complaint.
Rittenhouse, who BuzzFeed News reported was a teen who supported "Blue Lives Matter" and was in the front row of a Trump campaign rally in January, remains in custody in Illinois, his home state. The state of Wisconsin has filed for his extradition, but a hearing set for Friday was delayed until Sept. 25.
His legal team has said Rittenhouse was trying to defend himself. "This was classic self-defense and we are going to prove it," Pierce said in a statement to NBC News. "We will obtain justice for Kyle no matter how hard the fight or how long it takes."
A newly created organization called the Fight Back Foundation, cofounded by Rittenhouse's attorneys Wood and Pierce, is currently raising money for Rittenhouse's defense.