A 17-year-old was arrested and charged in the fatal shootings of two Black Lives Matter protesters during violent Jacob Blake protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin Tuesday night.
Kyle Rittenhouse, who is a Caucasian Blue Lives Matter activist, was arrested Wednesday at his home in Antioch, Illinois, and charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
Rittenhouse was initially labeled a "fugitive from justice" because he "fled the state of Wisconsin with intent to avoid prosecution".
The teenager is being held without bond while awaiting extradition to Wisconsin. Antioch police Cmdr. Norman Johnson said Rittenhouse was charged as an adult.
Famed Atlanta attorney Lin Wood, who recently settled a defamation lawsuit against CNN for teenager Nicholas Sandmann, offered to represent Rittenhouse for free after GoFundMe deleted an account created by the teen's father for legal expenses.
In the above photo, Rittenhouse opens fire with his AR-15 rifle at Black Lives Matter protester Gaige Paul Grosskreutz, who was armed with a pistol. Grosskreutz was wounded in the arm. Anthony Huber, 26, (pictured foreground) was shot in the chest after hitting Rittenhouse in the head with a skateboard. He was later pronounced dead.
A man ties a tourniquet above a gunshot wound sustained by Grosskreutz, who allegedly pointed a pistol at Rittenhouse before he was shot. News outlets described the handgun as a "cellphone".
A 36-year-old white male Kenosha resident, later identified as Joseph Rosenbaum, was fatally shot in the head during an earlier confrontation with Rittenhouse. Rosenbaum allegedly yelled, "Shoot me, ni**a!" before throwing something at Rittenhouse.
The shootings occurred around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Rittenhouse (3rd from left) is pictured hours before the shootings cleaning graffiti off a Kenosha courthouse.
He was interviewed by a street journalist minutes before he shot and killed two BLM protesters and wounded a third.
"So people are getting injured and our job is to protect this business," he said in the video. "And part of my job is to also help people. If there is somebody hurt I'm running into harm’s way. That's why I have my rifle because I need to protect myself, obviously. I also have my med kit."
CONTEXT: I spoke with the alleged shooter earlier in the night who stated he was there to protect property
He did not make racist comments, condemn #BLM, or mention political motivations for his actions
He said that he was there to protect property & was carrying a firearm pic.twitter.com/ViYUB65tiy
— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) August 26, 2020
Rittenhouse said he was "pepper sprayed" by a demonstrator in the crowd during the protests. When asked if he was using non-lethal crowd control, he replied, "We don't have non-lethal."
According to video footage, Kenosha police drove past Rittenhouse who had an AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder as members of the crowd were yelling for them to arrest him because he had shot people.
Photos from Rittenhouse's deleted Facebook page shows him as a youngster wearing a police uniform and wielding a semi-automatic rifle.
Black Lives Matter activists took to Twitter Wednesday night to complain that police helped Rittenhouse and let him go when protesters chased him after the shooting.
Don't you dare tell me there isn't racism in US law enforcement.
Unarmed Jacob Blake, shot 7 times in the back for walking to his kids in his car
17 year old, Kyle Rittenhouse holding AR-15 style gun after murdering protestors and the police look onpic.twitter.com/JlwjRh1oOj
— Mrs. Krassenstein (@HKrassenstein) August 26, 2020
Part of the armed militia Kyle Rittenhouse kills two protesters with his AR-15 in Kenosha. Law enforcement then saved him from the hero’s who were risking their lives to chase him down just to let him go. pic.twitter.com/sVByfTmvsS
— Brad Betts (@870South) August 26, 2020
Democratic nominee Joe Biden finally condemned the riots and violence on Wednesday, after CNN anchors Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo pleaded with him to speak out because the riots hurt the Democrats' chances in November.
Cuomo said, "I think [the riots] probably represents the biggest threat to the Democratic cause."
"Kenosha is a Rorschach test for the entire country, and I think this is a blind spot for Democrats. I think Democrats are ignoring this problem or hoping that it will go away, and it's not going to go away," Lemon said Tuesday night.
Speaking remotely from his beach house in Delaware, Biden urged protesters to remain peaceful and avoid "needless violence". Biden quoted Jacob Blake's mother, Julia Jackson, who said her son would not want to see violence and destruction carried out in his name.
Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot 7 times in the back by a white police officer responding to a domestic disturbance call on Sunday. Police were advised that Blake was wanted on warrants for domestic violence and sex crimes.