Witnesses, police, and reporters piece together what happened in the fatal Kenosha protest shootings
There's no question Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, are dead, fatally shot Aug. 25 during a chaotic night in Kenosha, Wisconsin. And there's little question they were killed by Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois who traveled to Kenosha, he told a reporter, to protect an auto dealership alongside other members of a self-appointed militia.
Much of the night's tragedy was captured on video, but there's stark disagreement over what those videos show. Prosecutors have charged Rittenhouse with intentional homicide and other crimes. He plans to claim self-defense. Washington Post reporter Whitney Leaming described what she saw.
The third night of Jacob Blake protests "had felt different from the start," Gina Barton reports at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. There were the armed militia members adding a note of menace, and "what seemed like hundreds more cops than before stood shoulder to shoulder and forced" demonstrators out of the park and into the street, where "there was nowhere to go. Soldiers and cops blocked one end of the road. White guys with big guns blocked the other."
One video shows Kenosha police thanking Rittenhouse and other militia members for coming out. Another clip appears to show a militia member recounting that "the cops told us today ... like, 'We're gonna push 'em down by you, 'cause you can deal with them and then we're gonna leave.'"
It isn't clear what happened right before Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum dead in a parking lot. Police charging documents say Rosenbaum appeared to be unarmed but threw a plastic bag toward Rittenhouse. A Daily Caller reporter who was interviewing Rittenhouse told police he thought Rosenbaum was reaching for Rittenhouse's AR-15. A gunshot can be heard somewhere in the vicinity before Rittenhouse opens fire.
Rittenhouse then called someone and said, "I just killed somebody." It was clear "he knew he messed up," a protester named Jeremiah told the Journal Sentinel. "He panicked. Even his people knew what he did was wrong. They were all shouting at him, 'What are you doing?'"
At that point, several people started chasing Rittenhouse. He tripped and fell before shooting and missing a protester who jumped over him. Huber tried to grab his gun, hitting him with his skateboard. Rittenhouse shot him in the chest, then rose to a sitting position and shot 26-year-old paramedic Gaige Grosskreutz — who was holding a handgun but didn't appear to point it at Rittenhouse — in the arm. Rittenhouse got up, made sure the protesters weren't following him, and walked past the police with his hands up.